What Are the Three P's of Diabetes?


Diabetes is a serious illness that kills thousands of people every year, and it has many symptoms that are assessed by doctors to identify the illness. Polyuria, Polydipsia and Polyphagia are common symptoms and are referred to as the three P's of diabetes.

What is Diabetes?

  • Diabetes is a result of the body's inability to produce or use a hormone called insulin that is used by cells to process glucose. This leads to an excess of glucose in the bloodstream, which the body cannot process efficiently.


  • Polyuria is a medical term used to describe excessive urination. Polyuria is a reaction to excessive glucose in the bloodstream, with extra liquid waste excreted from the system to remove the glucose.


  • Polydipsia is a medical term used to describe excessive thirst. Polydipsia is a symptom of diabetes, and can also be caused by the use of diuretics prescribed for patients with diabetes.


  • Polyphagia is a medical term used to describe excessive hunger or appetite and is a main symptom of diabetes. Polyphagia is caused by a build up of glucose in the bloodstream, due to problems with insulin. This causes the cells to feel starved.

Other Diabetes Symptoms

  • The three P's of diabetes are not the only symptoms that need to be watched for. Other symptoms include unexplained weight loss, vision problems, fatigue, and frequent infections, particularly in the gums or skin.

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  • Photo Credit Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Melissa Wiese
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