Diabetes symptoms vary depending on how much your blood sugar is elevated. Some people, especially those with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, may not experience symptoms initially. In type 1 diabetes, symptoms tend to come on quickly and be more severe.
Some of the signs and symptoms of type 1 and type 2 diabetes are:
- Increased thirst
- Frequent urination
- Extreme hunger
- Unexplained weight loss
- Presence of ketones in the urine (ketones are a byproduct of the breakdown of muscle and fat that happens when there's not enough available insulin)
- Blurred vision
- Slow-healing sores
- Frequent infections, such as gums or skin infections and vaginal infections
Although type 1 diabetes can develop at any age, it typically appears during childhood or adolescence. Type 2 diabetes, the more common type, can develop at any age, though it's more common in people older than 40.
When to see a doctor
July 31, 2014
- If you suspect you or your child may have diabetes. If you notice any possible diabetes symptoms, contact your doctor. The earlier the condition is diagnosed, the sooner treatment can begin.
- If you've already been diagnosed with diabetes. After you receive your diagnosis, you'll need close medical follow-up until your blood sugar levels stabilize.
- Papadakis MA, ed., et al. Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2014. 53rd ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2014. http://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com/book.aspx?bookId=330. Accessed April 27, 2014.
- Standards of medical care in diabetes — 2014. Diabetes Care. 2014;37:s14.
- Diabetes mellitus (DM). The Merck Manual for Health Care Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/endocrine_and_metabolic_disorders/diabetes_mellitus_and_disorders_of_carbohydrate_metabolism/diabetes_mellitus_dm.html. Accessed April 29, 2014.
- Atkinson MA, et al. Type 1 diabetes. The Lancet. 2014;383:69.
- What is gestational diabetes? American Diabetes Association. http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/gestational/what-is-gestational-diabetes.html. Accessed May 9, 2014.
- Gardner DG, et al. Greenspan's Basic & Clinical Endocrinology. 9th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2011. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=13. Accessed April 27, 2014.
- Diabetes & pregnancy. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/Features/DiabetesPregnancy/. Accessed May 9, 2014.
- Gestational diabetes mellitus. Washington, D.C.: American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.guideline.gov/content.aspx?id=47014. Accessed May 9, 2014.
- Levitsky LL, et al. Special situations in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 27, 2014.
- Peyser T, et al. The artificial pancreas: Current status and future prospects in the management of diabetes. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 2014;1311:102.
- Bergenstal RM, et al. Threshold-based insulin-pump interruption for reduction of hypoglycemia. New England Journal of Medicine. 2013;369:224.
- Hyperglycemia (High blood glucose). American Diabetes Association. http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/blood-glucose-control/hyperglycemia.html. Accessed April 29, 2014.
- DKA (ketoacidosis) & ketones. American Diabetes Association. http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/complications/ketoacidosis-dka.html. Accessed April 29, 2014.
- Natural medicines in the clinical management of diabetes. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed May 10, 2014.
- Cook AJ. Decision Support System. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Accessed May 6, 2014.
- Diabetes and metabolism — The how of clinical studies. Discovery's Edge: Mayo Clinic's Online Research Magazine. http://www.mayo.edu/research/discoverys-edge/diabetes-metabolism-how-clinical-studies. Accessed May 10, 2014.