What Type 1 Diabetes Symptoms You Need to Look For
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition that affects the pancreas. For unknown reasons, the immune system attacks and destroys the pancreas’s beta cells, rendering patients unable to create insulin. Because insulin is responsible for maintaining blood sugar levels, this condition can lead to very serious symptoms.
- Symptoms of type 1 diabetes appear gradually over a few weeks and will grow more intense if not addressed.
- Blood sugar levels that are too high or too low can impact your emotions, leading to mood swings.
- If you’re experiencing symptoms, you must contact your doctor right away to adjust your treatment plan.
Fortunately, there are effective treatments for diabetes if diagnosed early. To stay healthy, here are the most common diabetes symptoms to watch for.
For type 1 diabetics, symptoms tend to appear over the course of a few weeks. This is quick compared to type 2 diabetes (the symptoms of which can take years to appear), but it’s still a prolonged period of time where blood glucose is concerned. If you notice symptoms, you must seek treatment immediately, as they can progress if not addressed and cause permanent damage to your nervous system and vital organs.
Frequent Mood Swings
Have you noticed your moods changing suddenly, going from one end of the spectrum to the other? Unstable blood glucose levels may be to blame. In addition to manifesting as physical symptoms, high and low blood sugar can also show up in your moods. High blood sugar can make you feel the following:
Low blood sugar can also make you feel nervous, in addition to these:
Diabetes interferes with how cells absorb energy. If you don’t have enough insulin, your cells can’t get the energy they need to function correctly, resulting in fatigue. How do you know it’s fatigue and not normal tiredness? Fatigue lingers, no matter how much rest you get. Since your low energy isn’t from lack of sleep, taking naps or getting the proper 8 hours isn’t going to alleviate it.
Blurred vision is a common symptom for patients who just started on insulin because their fluids are in flux as their blood sugar levels stabilize. Patients with stabilized glucose levels find their blurred vision resolved. What do fluids have to do with your eyes? Your eyes have a lens that allows you to see details. When your blood glucose is fluctuating, fluids may leak into the lens, causing blurring.
Nausea and vomiting are serious signs that your blood sugar is dangerously low. Both are symptoms of high ketone levels; ketones are an energy source created when fat is broken down by the liver. They’re common in type 1 diabetics because they’re used in place of glucose. However, proper application of insulin should prevent their production.
Unexplained Weight Loss
Unintended weight loss is a big concern for diabetic patients, as it usually means there are other issues at play. For example, if you may be losing muscle mass due to high blood sugar. There’s also a concern that weight loss may be caused by dehydration.
Hunger is your body’s way of signaling that you need fuel for your cells. For most people, that means they must eat to introduce more glucose into their bloodstreams. For people with diabetes, however, the situation is more complicated.
Just because your cells aren’t absorbing energy doesn’t mean there isn’t enough glucose available. In fact, for type 1 diabetics, it’s possible to have high blood sugar levels and still feel hungry. If you’re constantly feeling hungry, you may need to adjust the timing of your insulin shots or how much you’re taking.
For people with diabetes, dehydration becomes a real risk due to frequent urination, which is the body’s way of disposing of excess glucose. Unfortunately, fluids are expelled along with the glucose. As a result, individuals may become dehydrated even though they’re drinking the recommended amount of water.
If you’re experiencing dehydration due to frequent urination, you may also have increased thirst as your body tries to replenish its fluids. However, drinking more water doesn’t help because it only contributes to frequent urination.
Excessive sweating — and insufficient sweating, for that matter — is a common symptom among people with diabetes whose blood sugar levels are fluctuating. This is due to the impact unstable glucose levels have on hormones, including those that control sweating.
Headaches are a common symptom of both high and low blood glucose levels. If you’re experiencing frequent headaches, it’s a good idea to measure your blood sugar to see if there’s a correlation.
What To Do If You’re Experiencing These Symptoms
Type 1 diabetes is a chronic illness, which means it requires ongoing management. Depending on your environment, habits, medications, and other factors, your condition may fluctuate and require adjusted treatment. The good news is, with daily glucose testing and consistent treatment, you can get your diabetes under control.
So what should you do if you notice any of the above symptoms? Here are the immediate and long-term actions you should take.
See Your Doctor
You should contact your doctor immediately and bring your blood sugar readings to the appointment. Between the symptoms and any patterns that show up in your numbers, your doctor should be able to determine whether unmanaged diabetes is the cause. With this information in-hand, you and your doctor can then adjust your treatment.
Get Reliable Diabetic Supplies
Does your glucose monitor provide accurate readings? Does it record your numbers and allow you to add tags? Does it generate averages? If you have a glucose meter that can do all this, you’re better prepared to find patterns in your blood sugar readings. Additionally, you need to have reliable access to insulin, test strips, and other supplies. Without these crucial items, you can’t properly manage your condition.
Adjust Your Diet
Because their bodies can’t automatically adjust to accommodate a deluge of glucose, people with diabetes have to be careful about what they eat. Many patients find counting carbohydrates helpful because it prevents them from accidentally consuming more carbs than their insulin injections can account for. If you notice symptoms appearing after meals, you may need to reevaluate your eating habits.
Physicians recommend exercise for everyone, but it can be especially helpful to people with diabetes because it affects their metabolism. Regular exercise can lower insulin resistance, which means cells are better able to absorb glucose. While type 1 diabetics still need to take insulin, lower insulin resistance can positively impact efforts to manage blood glucose levels.
Take Your Insulin
Perhaps the most important thing you can do to control your diabetes is to take your insulin as prescribed by your doctor. Taking insulin regularly ensures your blood sugar levels stay within the ideal range; failure to do so can cause both short- and long-term issues.
Here at MedEnvios Healthcare, we believe it shouldn’t be difficult to get necessary diabetic supplies. That’s why we’ve created a system that allows patients to order equipment online and have it delivered directly to their door. To ensure we’re serving as many patients as possible, we accept Medicare and a variety of private insurance coverage. For more information or to take a look at what we offer, visit Medenvois diabetic and glucose monitoring supplies online.