Early symptoms are polyuria (excessive elimination of urine), polydipsia (excessive drinking of water), polyphagia (excessive eating), loss of weight and a lack of energy. The extremely high extracellular osmotic pressure, caused by the excessive amount of sugar in the bloodstream, causes dehydration of the body cells. As the sugar is then eliminated by the kidneys, it carries water with it, thereby dehydrating the bloodstream and other extracellular fluids. Both the extracellular and intracellular dehydration cause excessive thirst and water drinking.
Since the diabetic cannot store glucose or glycogen, nor use it for fuel and energy, he has a tendency to lose weight. He is lacking in energy, despite the inordinate eating. The lack of energy may also be due to the fact that muscles respond better when using carbohydrate for energy than when using fat, which the diabetic must do. It is thought that the loss of proteins from muscles also causes part of the energy lack. Much of the energy lack is also due directly to the lack of insulin, for it is necessary for regulation of the oxidative reactions in the cell.
In children the classical symptoms may come on very quickly, as if the disease develops overnight. Of course, we know that it doesn’t. In most cases, even in children, there is a slow development of the symptoms, lasting months or years. It takes a period of unhealthful living to accumulate the toxins that result in these symptoms. Sugar may be present in the urine occasionally or even continuously for years and never produce symptoms enough to cause alarm. In so-called latent diabetes, there is usually a slight hyperglycemia, discoverable only by special tests.
Other early symptoms are generalized itching, or itching of the female genital organs, boils, carbuncles, eczema, sometimes steatorrhea due to inflammation of the pancreas, and neutritis. Retinitis, acidosis, coma and gangrene are symptoms that usually belong to the later stages of the disease, but occasionally the disease is not realized until these dire consequences arise. Symptoms and clinical manifestations occurring that arise from a condition of acidosis are air hunger, coma, ketone bodies in the urine and lipemia.
Diabetes is thought to be hereditary. If any disease were truly hereditary, it would manifest itself early. If not, and it takes years to develop it, then we must assume that something else must be responsible for its development. You may inherit a tendency to diabetes, but whether or not you develop it depends upon your mode of living.
Most cases of diabetes occur in people over 40. It often takes many years of unhealthful living to develop the conditions for diabetes to exist. It takes a lot of abuse to bodily organs and systems to result in the degeneration of the pancreas and other organs intimately involved in this abnormal condition. There are no "miracle cures" that will eliminate all those years of abuse. However, if all of these errors are corrected, the body will heal as long as there is not permanent damage. At any rate, a change to a more healthful lifestyle will result in better, if not perfect, health.
- Part I – Diabetes Mellitus
- 1. Introduction
- 2. History
- 3. Classification
- 4. Derangement Of Function
- 5. Symptoms
- 6. Medical Diagnosis
- 7. Medical Treatment Of Diabetes Mellitus
- 8. Effects Of Insulin
- 9. Oral Hypoglycemic Agents
- 10. The Diabetic Diet
- 11. Why You Have Diabetes
- 12. How You Can Improve Your Overall Health
- Part II – Diabetes Insipidus
- Part III – Hypoglycemia
- 1. Introduction
- 2. Other Factors
- 3. General Symptoms
- 4. Medical Diagnosis
- 5. Medical Treatment
- 6. Concentrated Sugar
- 7. Conversion Mechanism
- 8. Hormones That Maintain Balance
- 9. Progression Of Hypoglycemia
- 10. The Liver
- 11. Hyperinsulinism
- 12. What To Do If You Have Symptoms Of Hypoglycemia
- Questions & Answers
- Article #1: Diabetes Mellitus By Dr. Herbert M. Shelton
- Article #2: Diabetes