Mario A. Martinez, M.D.

There are some very distinctive signs and symptoms associated with the onset of diabetes.  Of course, Type 2 Diabetes is usually associated with obesity and a family history of diabetes.  People having the initial onset of diabetes usually have weight loss without dieting, frequent urination, excessive thirst, and fatigue.

The reason why the onset of diabetes is associated with weight loss is because of what doctors call, “Starvation in the Midst of Plenty”. This means that even though the blood is full of sugar, the sugar cannot get into the cell because of the diabetes. It would be as if you were chained to the floor at a buffet style restaurant. You would be surrounded by food and still starve to death.  When the body is deprived of its favorite sugar, glucose, it burns fat to make energy. This is why untreated diabetes causes weight loss without dieting.

Untreated diabetes also causes increased frequency of urination and excessive thirst. Often when I diagnose a patient with diabetes for the first time, I ask them when they started getting up frequently at night to urinate. I tell them that is when they became diabetic. The reason is because of a phenomenon called Oncotic Pressure. This states that water always want to be an equal number of particles of sugar per cubic centimeter of water. The high blood sugar causes water to leave the soft tissue and enter the circulation. This causes an increase in blood volume, which causes an increase in the production of urine. The increased urination stimulates the thirst center in the brain, which leads to increased thirst.

The onset of diabetes is usually associated with fatigue. This is because the sugar is not able to get into the cell. The cells of the body are starving for sugar, and the patient feels fatigued.

All of these are signs and symptoms of the onset of diabetes. If you are experiencing these things, please see your doctor immediately.