Symptoms of Diabetes

Symptoms occur because some or all of the glucose stays in the blood and it isn’t being used as fuel for energy. The body tries to reduce blood glucose levels by flushing the excess glucose out of the body in the urine.

In Type 1 diabetes the signs and symptoms are usually very obvious and develop very quickly, typically over a few weeks. The symptoms are quickly relieved once the diabetes is treated and under control.

In Type 2 diabetes the signs and symptoms may not be so obvious, as the condition develops slowly over a period of years and may only be picked up in a routine medical check up. Symptoms are quickly relieved once diabetes is treated and under control.

The main symptoms of undiagnosed diabetes include:

  • passing urine more often than usual, especially at night 
  • increased thirst 
  • extreme tiredness 
  • unexplained weight loss 
  • genital itching or regular episodes of thrush 
  • slow healing of cuts and wounds 
  • blurred vision 

What happens if you ignore the symptoms of diabetes? 

Leaving Type 1 diabetes untreated can lead to serious health problems, including diabetic ketoacidosis, which can result in a potentially fatal coma. To help raise awareness of the symptoms of Type 1 diabetes, and to try to avoid these dangerous complications, check out our handy video on the 4Ts.

Type 2 diabetes can be easier to miss, especially in the early stages when the underlying symptoms may not be apparent. But diabetes affects many major organs, including your heart, blood vessels, nerves, eyes and kidneys. Being diagnosed early and controlling your blood glucose levels can help prevent these complications.