Common Symptoms of Diabetes Mellitus and Anemia

Diabetes mellitus is a chronic endocrine disease characterized by a violation of all types of metabolism against the background of absolute or relative insulin deficiency. Metabolic disorders that occur in diabetes have a negative effect on the state of internal organs, so a condition such as diabetic nephropathy often develops against the background of diabetes mellitus. One of the consequences of diabetic nephropathy is anemia, which occurs in most patients with this pathology.

Diabetes Mellitus and anemia are two distinct medical conditions, each with its own set of symptoms. However, there are some overlapping signs and symptoms that can occur in individuals who have both conditions or in those who have one condition while displaying symptoms that mimic the other. In this article, we will explore the common symptoms of Diabetes Mellitus and anemia and discuss the potential overlap between them.

Symptoms of Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes Mellitus, commonly referred to as diabetes, is a chronic metabolic disorder characterized by high blood sugar levels. The symptoms of diabetes can vary in type and severity, but the most common ones include:

Increased Thirst (Polydipsia)

Individuals with diabetes often experience excessive thirst. This excessive thirst, known as polydipsia, is a result of the body’s attempt to flush out excess sugar through frequent urination.

Frequent Urination (Polyuria)

Polyuria, or the need to urinate frequently, is another hallmark symptom of diabetes. High blood sugar levels lead to increased urine production.


Chronic fatigue is a common symptom of diabetes. Fluctuating blood sugar levels can lead to energy fluctuations, causing persistent tiredness.

Increased Hunger (Polyphagia)

Diabetes can lead to increased hunger, known as polyphagia, as the body’s cells may not be receiving adequate glucose for energy.

Unexplained Weight Loss

Some individuals with diabetes may experience unexplained weight loss despite increased appetite. This can occur when the body breaks down fats and muscle tissue for energy due to insufficient insulin.

Blurred Vision

Fluctuating blood sugar levels can affect the eye’s lens, causing temporary blurred vision. This symptom typically resolves with improved blood sugar control.

What is diabetes?

Diabetes mellitus is an endocrine disease that occurs as a result of absolute or relative deficiency of insulin. That is, insulin is a hormone that regulates the metabolism of carbohydrates (glucose), fats and proteins in our body. Insulin is produced by the pancreas in response to an increase in blood sugar (for example, after a meal). Once in the blood, insulin is distributed throughout the body, reacts with cells and allows glucose to be captured and processed. Thus, insulin provides a decrease in blood sugar and tissue nutrition (some tissues in our body cannot capture glucose in the absence of insulin).

Note: Diabetes is caused by a lack of insulin. Insulin deficiency can be absolute, meaning the pancreas produces little (or no) insulin.

Absolute insulin deficiency is seen in type I diabetes mellitus. This is seen in type II diabetes, when physiological amounts of insulin cannot reduce blood glucose levels due to reduced sensitivity of tissues to insulin itself (this phenomenon is called “insulin resistance”).

Why does diabetes cause kidney damage? What are the Common Symptoms of Diabetes Mellitus and Anemia?
With inadequate treatment and a prolonged increase in blood sugar levels, diabetes mellitus leads to significant damage to all internal organs. The first to suffer from diabetes are the small blood vessels, arterioles and capillaries that supply blood to all organs and tissues of our body. In diabetic patients (with prolonged high blood sugar levels), the walls of the arterioles are impregnated with fat and carbohydrate complexes, which leads to cell death in the walls of these vessels and the growth of connective tissue in them. The affected arterioles close and the organ fed by them begins to experience a lack of oxygen and nutrients.


Kidney damage (diabetic nephropathy) in diabetes develops exactly by this mechanism. The massive destruction of renal vessels on the background of diabetes leads to the death of working kidney tissue and its replacement with inactive connective tissue. As nephropathy develops, the kidneys gradually lose their ability to filter the blood and produce urine, in short, “chronic kidney failure” develops.

Note: Currently, more than half of all chronic renal failure cases are due to diabetes mellitus.

What does anemia have to do with diabetes?

Anemia is a disease in which the amount of red blood cells and hemoglobin in the blood is reduced. As you know, blood cells in our body are formed in the red bone marrow. However, in order for the red brain to function, it must receive a certain signal in the form of the “Erythropoietin hormone”.

Erythropoietin is produced by special cells in the kidneys. With diabetic nephropathy, not only kidney cells involved in blood filtration, but also erythropoietin-producing cells die, therefore, with chronic renal failure in diabetic patients, anemia develops (the absence of erythropoietin leads to the interruption of red bone marrow). In addition to erythropoietin deficiency, iron deficiency and chronic protein loss accompanying renal failure also play a certain role in the pathogenesis (development) of anemia in patients with diabetes mellitus.

Common Symptoms of Diabetes Mellitus and Anemia

What effect does anemia have on the condition of patients with diabetes mellitus?

According to modern studies, the course of chronic renal failure, developing against the background of diabetic nephropathy, is complicated by anemia in more than half of cases. Anemia significantly reduces the quality of life of patients with diabetes mellitus. Against the background of anemia, patients have a decrease in appetite, physical abilities, intellectual and sexual functions. Diabetic patients with anemia are at higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease, as anemia is likely to be an independent contributing factor to heart and blood vessel dysfunction.

How is anemia treated in diabetics?

Unlike cases of anemia caused by iron or vitamin deficiency (iron deficiency anemia, anemia with a deficiency of vitamin B12 and folic acid), anemia arising on the background of renal failure in patients with diabetes mellitus cannot be treated with vitamin and mineral preparations alone, and without adequate treatment it becomes a very severe form. can take. How is anemia treated in diabetics? Since the main factor in the development of anemia in diabetic patients is erythropoietin deficiency, drugs containing erythropoietin are used in the treatment.

Erythropoietin is a complex organic compound of carbohydrate-protein structure. The carbohydrate component of the erythropoietin molecule can be of two types. These; alpha and beta (hence the name of erythropoietin drugs). Erythropoietin for the treatment of anemia is obtained recombinantly, that is, synthesized by bacteria introduced with human genes encoding the structure of erythropoietin. In the process of preparation of the drug, erythropoietin undergoes repeated purification, which allows you to minimize the incidence of adverse reactions. Patients with diabetes mellitus with diabetic nephropathy, when the level of hemoglobin in the blood drops below 120 g / l (that is, at the very beginning of anemia), with the ineffectiveness of other treatment methods (for example, iron preparations).

Also, patients with diabetes mellitus erythropoietin are administered in two ways. These; intravenously and subcutaneously. The standard injection frequency is 3 times a week. Recent studies in the treatment of anemia in diabetic patients show that subcutaneous injections of erythropoietin are no less effective than intravenous injections, which greatly simplifies the treatment process (patients can self-administer the injections), and the frequency of injections can be reduced by 1 time.

Finally, erythropoietin injections are supplemented with iron preparations to increase the effectiveness of anemia treatment in patients with diabetes mellitus. Prevention of anemia in patients with diabetes The development of diabetic nephropathy, chronic renal failure and, accordingly, anemia is most often observed in patients with diabetes who do not receive treatment or in patients whose treatment does not provide maintenance of normal.

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