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Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes

Clip Number: 4 of 14
Presentation: Diabetes
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Reviewed By: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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When people have diabetes, the body's cells are locked and the sugar that's in the blood can't enter the cells to give them energy. Since sugar can't get into the cells, it starts to build up in the bloodstream. High levels of blood sugar can lead to the common signs and symptoms of diabetes, including:
* Losing weight without trying
* Urinating more than usual
* Frequently being very thirsty, hungry, or tired
* Having blurry vision
* Having dry or itchy skin
* Tingling sensations in your hands or feet
* And having sores that don't heal well.
If your cells can't get energy from sugar, they'll try to get it from other sources. Sometimes they'll get energy from the fat in your body. This is why some people with diabetes lose weight even when they aren't trying to. However, this weight loss usually only happens in people with type 1 diabetes.
Many people with diabetes urinate more often than usual. This is because their body is trying to get rid of extra sugar through the urine. Going to the bathroom a lot also makes people very thirsty.
Since the sugar from the food you eat can't get into your cells, your muscles and organs don't have the energy they need. This can cause you to feel tired and fatigued.
Blurry vision is also common in people with diabetes. This is because a high amount of sugar in the blood actually pulls fluid out of your tissues -- including the lenses of your eyes. This decrease in fluid affects your ability to focus properly.
In other parts of your body, the decrease in fluid can also lead to dry, itchy skin.
Over time, high levels of sugar in the blood can damage the small blood vessels that supply the nerves. This can lead to problems such as tingling, pain, or numbness in the hands or feet.
Finally, diabetes affects the body's ability to heal and fight infection. So if you have diabetes, it may take longer for a sore to heal.

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