ZocdocAnswersDo I have diabetes or something serious?

Question

Do I have diabetes or something serious?

I am 17 years old. For the past year I have been quite fatigue and thought that it was an iron deficiency but I was checked by the doctor for anemia but was okay. For the past couple of weeks I would get very thirsty even though I drink at least 2 liters of water everyday. For the past two days I have been getting random pains in my arms and legs, the pain is not extreme but I am worried that this might be something serious. Any information would be very helpful.

Answer

It would be possible to develop pain in your extremities and I recommend discussing your concern with your primary care physician. Diabetes mellitus comes in several forms and different degrees of severity. People with diabetes can, over time, develop nerve damage throughout the body that some people may have symptoms such as pain, tingling, or numbness in the hands, arms, feet, and legs. It is sharp, jabbing pain that may be worse at night or when walking. This could be a sign of diabetic neuropathy that occurs gradually over time as consistently high glucose in the blood damages the nervous system, particularly in the extremities. However, these symptoms don't always indicate nerve damage, but they may signal other problems that require medical care. Diabetes usually manifests in frequent urination, excessive thirst and hunger, fatigue, and very high blood sugar which you have described your symptoms. Please visit your primary care physician for a thorough evaluation. It is good to diagnose and potentially treat very early to prevent possible devastating problems that diabetes mellitus can bring down the road. Complications associated with diabetes include blindness, feet and leg numbness, ulceration and gangrene. One of the most common reasons for amputation is diabetes mellitus neuropathy. Your doctor can confirm the diagnosis with one or more diabetes blood tests that include fasting blood glucose level, hemoglobin A1c test, and oral glucose tolerance test. If it is confirmed to be diabetes, these tests will help him or her monitor your condition and prevent its long-term complications. Your doctor will also discuss with you a plan for long-term treatments to lower high blood glucose levels and to reduce your chances of developing problems associated with diabetes. Good luck.

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