Diabetes Types

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Signs and Symptoms

Physical signs of type 1 diabetes usually appear rapidly as uncontrolled high blood glucose, or hyperglycemia, reaches crisis levels. Symptoms include the following:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Extreme hunger
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fatigue, or a feeling of being "run down" and tired
  • Rapid breathing
  • Blurred vision
  • Dry, itchy skin
  • Headaches
  • Tingling or burning pain in the feet, legs, hands, or other parts of the body
  • High blood pressure
  • Mood swings, irritability, and depression
  • Frequent or recurring infections, such as urinary tract infections, yeast infections, and skin infections
  • Slow healing of cuts and bruises

Essential

A blood plasma glucose test, either casual (any time of day) or fasting (no food or drink eight hours prior), is used to diagnose type 1 diabetes. If the first test indicates diabetes, a second test on a subsequent day is required to confirm the diagnosis.

Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA)

When blood glucose levels are extremely high (above 250 mg/dl or 13.9 mmol/l), signs of DKA may also start to appear. Ketoacidosis is life threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Symptoms of DKA include the following:

  • Lethargy
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fruity breath odor
  • Rapid breathing
  • Dehydration
  • Loss of consciousness

DKA is also diagnosed by the presence of ketones in the urine.

Hyperglycemic Hyperosmolar Nonketotic Coma (HHNC)

Individuals with type 1 diabetes can also develop a condition known as hyperglycemic hyperosmolar nonketotic coma (HHNC), which is characterized by many of the same symptoms as DKA, and occurs when blood sugar levels are in excess of 600 mg/dl . HHNS (Hyperglycemic Hyperosmolar Nonketotic Syndrome) is rare in type 1 diabetes, and occurs more frequently in people with type 2 diabetes.