Symptoms of Diabetes

Diabetes is frequently divided into two types – type 1 and type 2. They have some symptoms in common, but they have different causes.

Type 1

Type 1 diabetes is usually first diagnosed in childhood or early adulthood. About 5 percent of diabetics have this form of the disease.

If you have type 1 diabetes, your pancreas produces little or no insulin. This hormone is used to convert food into glucose and move it to your cells, where it can be used as a source of energy. Since your pancreas isn't producing insulin, glucose builds up in your blood at higher-than-normal levels. You’ll need to give yourself injections of insulin every day or have a pump that delivers a continuous flow of insulin.

The following are common symptoms of type 1 diabetes, which can often develop suddenly: 

  • Increased thirst and urination
  • Persistent hunger
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Blurry vision
  • Extreme fatigue

Type 2

Type 2 diabetes is most frequently diagnosed in older adults. Over 90 percent of diabetics have this form of the disease.

If you’ve been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, your pancreas is usually producing enough insulin. Your body, however, can’t use it effectively, so too much glucose builds up in your blood.

Symptoms of type 2 diabetes usually come on more slowly than those associated with type 1. Especially during the early stages of the disease, you may have no symptoms at all.

Common symptoms include: 

  • Fatigue
  • Frequent urination
  • Extreme thirst
  • Blurred vision
  • Frequent infections
  • Wounds or sores that are slow to heal
  • Tingling or numbness in your hands or feet

If you’re experiencing symptoms of either type of diabetes, see your doctor. He or she can test your blood glucose levels to confirm or rule out a diagnosis of diabetes