The Sneaky Symptoms of Diabetes

I was exhausted after dance class. I couldn’t get enough to drink and had more “pit stops.” I was happy when I got on the scale because drinking diet pop was making me lose weight.

I just didn’t feel good. I was tired of going to the school nurse because I was going to throw up in class. I got into trouble for calling my mom on the pay phone (remember those?). I had repeated trips to the doctor.

My doctor said I was getting stomach aches because of adolescence. I was shy in some things and aggressive in others. I had to talk to the school counselor.

I was a rail and extremely pale, which now I see clearly in my church confirmation pictures. By Easter I could not hold anything down, not even the strawberries I loved. My dad took me to the doctor the next morning. The doctor sent me to the hospital because I was severely dehydrated.  I remember my dad had to carry me into the hospital.

Little did any of us, including my doctor, know I had type 1 diabetes. I had all the symptoms:  frequent thirst and urination, fruity breath, weight loss and fatigue.  My blood sugar was in the 800′s (100 is normal).  I was kept in coronary intensive care until I was clear of danger of ketoacidosis.

Very often, people with type 2 diabetes will have no symptoms. Like type 1, excessive thirst, frequent urination and fatigue are common. Some might experience nausea and occasionally vomiting.  Blurred vision and numbness or tingling of the hands or feet result from the excess sugar in the blood. Slow healing and frequent infections are also symptoms.

Today, more people, including doctors, recognize the symptoms sooner, but there are still children with stories similar to mine. Most doctors screen for diabetes through blood tests. If you have any of these symptoms, you will want to visit your doctor to rule out diabetes.

Visit www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/symptoms/ for more information about symptoms of diabetes.