Diabetes Symptoms: What You Need To Know And Do


Common Diabetes Symptoms Explained


What You Need To Know- Diabetes Symptoms

  • The symptoms of diabetes can be non-specific.
  • Diabetes can affect all parts of your body.
  • Most people with type 1 experience diabetes symptoms, while those with type 2 may not.

What You Need To Do- Diabetes Symptoms

  • If you experience any of these symptoms for more than a few days see your doctor.


Symptoms of diabetes are similar whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes. While most people diagnosed with type 1 diabetes are identified in childhood and are symptomatic, many people have type 2 diabetes are unaware they have diabetes and are without symptoms or do not realize they have symptoms of diabetes because the changes are gradual.

Frequent Urination Is One Of the Most Common Symptoms of Diabetes
Do you feel that you are always headed to the bathroom? Frequent urination is one of the classic diabetes symptoms. However, many people have a hard time knowing what this really means. Frequency of urination depends on a number of things such as fluid intake, medications you are on, your age, and other health conditions such as an enlarged prostate. If you are urinating more than normal for you or if you are having to get up frequently at night (more than one or 2 times), this could be a symptom of diabetes. As a symptom of diabetes, frequent urination results from the glucose spilling into your urine and drawing water with it.

Extreme Thirst, Hunger, & Weight Loss
Extreme thirst, hunger, and dehydration are all potential symptoms of diabetes. The frequent urination described above will eventually lead to dehydration. As a result of frequent urination, your thirst can increase dramatically. As a result of glucose being lost in the urine, your body gets less calories and you may potentially lose weight. Additionally, when blood glucose is elevated, your body is not able to use calories appropriately and weight loss can result despite feeling hungry all the time and voracious appetite. While weight loss is much more common as a symptom of diabetes in type 1 diabetes, some newly diagnosed patients with type 2 diabetes experience weight loss as a symptom of diabetes.

When your blood sugars are high you just don’t feel right. Many times it is not until after a diagnosis and treatment begins that patients realize how fatigued they were. Additionally, dehydration from frequent urination and interrupted sleep can also contribute to this diabetes symptom.

Symptoms of Diabetes

Symptoms of Diabetes

Vision Changes
With poorly controlled diabetes, you may develop changes in the eyes that result in blurry vision as the initial symptom of diabetes. As a result, a number of patients seek care due to visual changes may end up getting referred to a primary care doctor to diagnose and manage diabetes. On the positive side, with good treatment and control of diabetes, vision usually gets better and does not progress further.

Tingling and Numbness in the Hands and Feet
Many patients have diabetes for a long period of time before a diagnosis. If you are experiencing tingling and numbness in your hands and feet, you have probably had diabetes for nearly 10 years. The symptoms of tingling and numbness is referred to as neuropathy.

Frequent Infections or Slow Healing Wounds
People with diabetes are at greater risk for infection because elevated blood sugars impair your bodies ability to fight infection. Specifically, diabetes is associated with several types of bacterial infections including:
• Boils
• Folliculitis or infections of the hair follicles
• Skin infections
• Styes

Similarly, fungal skin infections can occur in any warm, moist environment. Women may experience fungal infections under the breast or in the vaginal area. Uncircumcised men are also at increased risk of a fungal infection if the foreskin is not cleaned properly. Both men and women may experience ‘jock itch’ or athlete’s foot. While many of us could experience one of these infections, recurrence of these infections should make you consider this could be a symptom of diabetes and consider talking with your health care provider about diabetes. Likewise, elevated blood sugars impair wound healing whether from a planned surgical procedure or just cutting yourself in the kitchen.

National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Diabetes Translation. Accessed December 12, 2012. Diabetes Public Health Resource- Basics About Diabetes.


  1. […] Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. This means that the powerful cells of your immune system that normally fight off infections as a foreign invaders turn around and actually attack parts of your body thinking they are foreign. In type 1 diabetes your body senses the beta cells of the pancreas as foreign and attacks them. The destruction of the beta cells cause your pancreas to not produce insulin and  leads to the symptoms of diabetes. […]

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