Question

Diabetes

What are the symptoms of diabetes?

A Answers (19)

  • AMehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answered
    Over 80 million Americans suffer from diabetes. Disturbingly, almost one-third of Americans living with diabetes are unaware they have it.

    The sudden warning sign of one’s breath smelling like nail polish remover occurs when your body is unable to utilize sugar properly and burns fat for fuel instead. The chemical compounds released during this process are known as ketones. The ketone, acetone -- a key ingredient in nail polish remover -- produces the telltale diabetes warning sign of fruity-smelling breath.

    You may also experience a fruity taste in your mouth that persists even after you’ve brushed your teeth. Referred to medically as diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), this symptom can result in a diabetic coma if left untreated.

    Additional warning signs of diabetes include:
    • Fatigue
    • Dizziness
    • Frequent thirst and urination
    • Craving sweets
    If you experience acetone-scented breath or any other warning signs linked to diabetes, schedule an appointment with your physician. You’ll likely be asked to fast for at least 8 hours beforehand so the doctor can check your blood sugar level via a simple blood test. Bear in mind, a healthy fasting blood sugar level is between 70 and 100 mg/dl; a reading over 200 mg/dl may signal diabetes.
  • AStacy Wiegman, PharmD, Pharmacy, answered
    The warning signs of diabetes can include excessive thirst, fatigue, frequent illness, wounds that don't heal well, tingling or numbness in hands and/or feet, blurred vision and unintentional weight loss. These signs may come on suddenly in people with type 1 diabetes, which is most often diagnosed in children and adolescents. In people with type 2 diabetes, which is most often diagnosed in adults, these symptoms may occur more gradually. Sometimes, though, people with diabetes don't have any of the standard red flags. Contact your doctor if you have any of the warning signs of diabetes or if you are concerned that you may be developing the disease.
  • ADe Vizio, DMD, Dentist, answered on behalf of Colgate
    Diabetes is a very common illness affecting more than 24 million Americans. While many people are diagnosed with diabetes, others with diabetes are undiagnosed. Many people wonder what is causing their symptoms of excessive thirst and extreme hunger without realizing the cause is diabetes. If you are unsure if you have diabetes mellitus, it's important to be aware of the key warning signs that go with diabetes. Warning signs may include: 
    • Excessive thirst
    • Frequent urination
    • Extreme hunger
    • Fatigue or feeling exhausted
    • Weight loss
    • Itchy skin
    • Pins and needles feeling in the feet and hands
    • Blurred or cloudy vision
    • Skin infections, other infections
  • Just as there are many different types of diabetes, there are many different types of diabetes symptoms. In certain types of diabetes, such as pre-diabetes and gestational diabetes, there may be no symptoms at all. In Types 1 and 2 diabetes, symptoms usually include tiredness, excessive thirst and hunger, more frequent urination, weight loss, and blurred vision. In Type 1 diabetes, these symptoms typically develop quickly, but symptoms can develop slowly over several years in Type 2. Speak to your doctor if you are experiencing any symptoms related to diabetes.

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  • The symptoms of diabetes include the following:

    Type 1 Diabetes
    • Frequent urination
    • Increased thirst
    • Excessive thirst
    • Extreme hunger
    • Dramatic weight loss
    • Weakness and fatigue
    • Nausea and vomiting
    Type 2 Diabetes
    • Any of the type 1 symptoms
    • Recurring or hard-to-heal skin, gum, or bladder infections
    • Drowsiness
    • Blurred vision
    • Tingling or numbness in hands or feet
    • Itching
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  • The onset of diabetes mellitus causes many symptoms that range from the subtle to the more severe:

    Excessive and frequent urination (as often as every hour or so). Nighttime awakening to urinate is also common.
    Increased thirst.
    Increased appetite.
    Unintentional weight loss.
    Blurred vision.
    Fatigue and weakness.
    Recurring or persistent infections of the bladder, skin, or gums.
    Numbness and tingling in feet and hands.
    Symptoms of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).
    Emergency symptoms of hyperosmolar nonketotic states: extreme thirst, lethargy, weakness, mental confusion, coma.
    Emergency symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis: nausea and vomiting, labored breathing, mental confusion, coma.

    Some people who have type 2 diabetes exhibit no symptoms. Symptoms may be mild and almost unnoticeable, or easy to confuse with signs of aging. Half of all Americans who have diabetes do not know it.

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  • ARonald Tamler, MD, Endocrinology/diabetes/metabolism, answered on behalf of The Mount Sinai Health System
    What are the symptoms of diabetes?

    Some patients may have type 2 diabetes and not know it. In this video, Ronald Tamler, MD, clinical director of the Mount Sinai Diabetes Center, discusses common symptoms like frequent urination, unquenchable thirst and blurry vision.




  • AMichael T. Murray, Naturopathic Medicine, answered
    The classic symptoms of type 1 diabetes are frequent urination, excessive thirst, and excessive appetite. In type 2 diabetes, these symptoms may also be present, but are usually much milder than in type 1. As a result, since these symptoms are not very serious, many people who have symptoms of diabetes do not seek medical care. In fact, of the more than 10 million Americans with diabetes, fewer than half know that they have diabetes or ever have consulted a physician.

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  • ASCAI answered

    There are several warning signs of diabetes. They are particularly common in Type 1 diabetes. Many people with Type 2 diabetes have few or no symptoms, so damage to the blood vessels can go undetected for years. Regular checkups with your physician are the best way to identify diabetes.

    When present, the typical symptoms of diabetes include: 

    • Increased thirst
    • Frequent urination
    • Increased hunger
    • Blurred vision
    • Fatigue
    • Dry mouth
    • Unexplained weight loss
    • Numbness of the hands or feet
    • Erectile dysfunction
  • AJill Grimes, MD, Family Medicine, answered

    The classic symptoms of diabetes are: being hungry all the time or thirsty all the time, having frequent urination, having an unexplained sudden weight loss or developing fatigue. Many people have no obvious symptoms.


    If you are overweight, especially if you have a family history of diabetes, go and see your doctor and get tested for diabetes. A simple fasting blood test will tell the doctor whether or not your blood sugar is elevated.

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  • ARealAge answered
    Diabetes and prediabetes can be present for years without causing any noticeable symptoms. In fact, it's estimated that nearly 6 million people in the United States have diabetes and don't know it, which is why it's important to get regular screenings. Diabetes symptoms in women and men are the same—and tend to come on gradually. Just a few that you should be aware of include:
    • Blurred vision
    • Increased thirst and a need to urinate more than usual
    • Increased or constant hunger
    • Extreme fatigue
    • Skin sores that take longer than normal to heal
    • More infections than usual
    • Weight loss

    If you experience several symptoms of diabetes or any unusual symptoms that linger or get worse rather than better, make an appointment to talk with your healthcare provider about them.

  • ADiscovery Health answered
    National Body Challenge: Warning Signs of Diabetes
    Watch this clip from Discovery's National Body Challenge to learn about the warning signs of diabetes.
  • AIntermountain Registered Dietitians, Nutrition & Dietetics, answered on behalf of Intermountain Healthcare
    The following are signs and symptoms of diabetes:
    • increased thirst
    • increased hunger
    • increased urination (peeing)
    • weakness and fatigue
    • weight loss
    • blurry vision
    • fast, deep breathing
    • slow or confused thinking
  • AAgueda Hernandez, MD, Family Medicine, answered on behalf of Baptist Health South Florida
    Watch out for sudden or extreme loss of weight, fatigue, frequent urination and extreme thirst.

    Sometimes, the symptoms -- including those that resemble the flu -- are often easy to miss. Often, the only families typically able to catch the symptoms and avoid hospitalization are those with a history of diabetes in the family.

    Other symptoms include:  
    • Lethargy
    • Sudden vision changes
    • A fruity, sweet or wine-like odor on a person’s breath
    • Heavy, labored breathing
    • Confusion or unconsciousness
  • AAnaisys Ballesteros, DO, Family Medicine, answered on behalf of Baptist Health South Florida
    Like with any other illness, symptoms of diabetes vary from person to person.  The most commonly reported, though, are:  
    • frequent urination
    • extreme, thirst, hunger and fatigue
    • blurred vision
    • delayed healing of cuts, bruises and injuries
    • weight gain
    • numbness, pain or tingling feelings in the feet or hands
    Since these symptoms mimic symptoms of other diseases and may be very mild, it’s best to speak to your doctor about any unusual changes in your health.
  • The symptoms of diabetes are usually a combination of fatigue, increased thirst and frequent urination. Less commonly, patients may experience numbness or tingling in their arms and legs, light-headedness, increased hunger or blurry vision. In rare cases, patients will have symptoms of recurrent infections that are a sign of possible diabetes.
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  • AConstance Brown-Riggs, Nutrition & Dietetics, answered on behalf of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

    Diabetes is often called a silent disease because the symptoms are sometimes so subtle they are easily ignored. But if you have any of the following symptoms of diabetes you should definitely see your health care professional for a blood glucose check.

    Symptoms of diabetes include:

    • Increased thirst
    • Extreme hunger
    • Frequent urination
    • Feeling tired
    • Itchy or dry skin
    • Slow-healing cuts or sores
    • More infections than usual
    • Tingling or numbness in hands or feet
    • Unexplained weight loss
    • Sudden vision changes

    Be well...

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    • AEric Olsen, Fitness, answered
      All types of diabetes have the same general symptoms, including frequent urination, excessive thirst, fatigue, weakness, and weight loss. Other symptoms include tingling of the extremities, increased number of infections, blurred vision, sometimes impotence (in men) or amenorrhea (in women). The symptoms of type 1 diabetes can develop rapidly. Symptoms of type 2 come on more slowly and may not appear until months or years after the disease has begun.
    • Common symptoms of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes:

      • Excessive thirst (polydipsia): An individual with diabetes develops high blood sugar levels. The body tries to counteract this by sending a signal to the brain to dilute the blood, which translates into thirst. The body encourages more water consumption to dilute the high blood sugar back to normal levels and to compensate for the water lost by excessive urination.
      • Excessive eating (polyphagia): Polyphagia is excessive hunger. If the body is able, it will secrete more insulin in order to try to deal with the excessive blood sugar levels. One of the functions of insulin is to stimulate hunger. Therefore, higher insulin levels lead to increased hunger and eating. Despite increased caloric intake, the person may gain very little weight or may even lose weight.
      • Poor wound healing: White blood cells are important in defending the body against bacteria and also in cleaning up dead tissue and cells. High blood sugar levels prevent white blood cells from functioning normally. When these cells do not function properly, wounds take much longer to heal and become infected more frequently.
      • Vascular problems: Long-term high blood sugar levels are associated with thickening of blood vessels, which prevents good circulation and body tissues from getting enough oxygen and other nutrients.
      • Infections: Certain infection syndromes, such as frequent yeast infections, skin infections, and frequent urinary tract infections, may result from suppression of the immune system by diabetes and by the presence of glucose in the tissues, which allow bacteria to grow well. They can also be an indicator of poor blood sugar control in a person known to have diabetes.
      • Blurry vision: The primary cause of legal blindness in the working population of the United States today is diabetes mellitus. Blurry vision is not specific for diabetes but is frequently present with high blood sugar levels.

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