Symptoms of diabetes are caused by higher levels of glucose (sugar) in your blood. Both types of diabetes (type 1 and type 2) have some of the same warning signs. Symptoms tend to develop more quickly for type 1 diabetes compared to type 2 diabetes.
Have you or someone you care for experienced any of the following symptoms?
Increased urination When blood glucose levels are elevated, you may not reabsorb all of the glucose as it passes through the kidneys. Your body will try to get rid of it by making more urine.
Increased thirst As a result of increased urination, you may get dehydrated, and will therefore be drinking more than usual.
Fatigue (feeling tired or lethargic) Glucose provides you with energy. Your cells need insulin to bring the glucose in. If your body doesn't produce enough or any insulin, the glucose has no way of entering the cells and you have no energy. This can make you tired.
Blurred vision When blood sugar levels are increased, fluids can leave the lenses of your eyes, causing vision changes.
Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet Damage to the nerves can result from elevated blood glucose levels causing what is known as 'peripheral neuropathy'.
These might be signs of diabetes.
Other signs or symptoms include:
- Unexplained weight loss (usually seen with type 1 diabetes). Weight loss may be an early sign of diabetes. It can occur even though you are eating and feel hungry.
- slow-healing cuts and bruises. Damage to the skin such as cuts or wounds may heal more slowly than you are used to. This may be due to poor circulation and nerve damage, which can be a result of high blood sugar from diabetes.
- frequent or recurring infections. You may notice that you are experiencing recurrent 'flu-like' symptoms (such as headache, chills, fatigue), making you feel overall lousy!
- trouble getting or maintaining an erection. This kind of sexual dysfunction is common in people with diabetes, and may indicate early nerve damage due to high blood sugars.
- persistent vaginal infections. These types of infections are associated with vaginal itching, burning, redness, or change in discharge. It is important you see your doctor if you are frequently experiences these symptoms.
If you have any of the above symptoms, make an appointment to see your doctor. A blood test will help determine if these symptoms might be caused by diabetes.