At blood sugar levels over 200 mg. percent, glucose appears in the sweat. Skin infections, particularly boils and infections of the vulva, are common early signs of diabetes mellitus.
Many people over 65 years of age lose one or both ankle jerks and vibration sense over the malleoli, but these may also be early signs of diabetes which is associated with peripheral neuritis (inflammation of a nerve, accompanied by pain, loss of reflexes, and muscle shrinkage).
Usually confined to the lower limbs, neuropathy (disease of nervous system) is associated with tingling and pain, stocking anaesthesia (the loss of sensation caused by damage to a nerve) and in severe cases, muscle weakness and wasting.
A peripheral nerve is suddenly affected, leading to muscle weakness.
Radiculitis may precede clinical recognition of diabetes. It is a common early sign of diabetes associated with pain, tingling or scaling sensations in the segment affected and is frequently self limiting to about two years.
Severe early signs of diabetes you must know are – Damage to the automatic nervous system causing impotence in males and loss of orgasm in females, nocturnal diarrhoea, postural hypotension and loss of sweating over the lower limbs
Hypercholesterolaemia which is an unusually high level of cholesterol in the blood and hyperlipaemia, excesses fats in blood, often leads to the formation of xanthomata (lipid-filled skin lesion) in the skin, small hard yellowish nodules up to a few millimeters in diameter.
Insulin injections may lead to changes in the skin (in 20-30 per cent of cases) either hypertrophy (enlargement by cell growth) or atrophy (wasting away).
There is an association between tuberculosis and diabetes, and all suspected cases should have a chest radiograph.