Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes
Symptoms are things you feel and experience. The most common symptoms of diabetes are increased appetite, extreme thirst and frequent urination. However, symptoms and their intensity can vary from person to person and with the type of diabetes.
Signs are actual parameters your doctor can measure. The signs of diabetes include:
Blood sugar level of 126 mg/dL or higher after an eight hour fast
Blood sugar level of 200 mg/dL or higher after drinking a specific sugary beverage
Blood sugar level of 200 mg/dL or higher taken randomly, at any time of day, along with symptoms of diabetes
What Causes the Symptoms of Diabetes?
While there are different types of diabetes, they all have high blood sugar in common. High blood sugar causes the symptoms of diabetes. Symptoms you may have with any type of diabetes include:
Extreme thirst, urination and hunger
Vision problems such as blurred vision
Problems with sores and wounds that won't heal
Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes
You’ll usually develop the symptoms of type 1 diabetes very quickly and they’re usually severe. In addition to the general symptoms of diabetes, you may also have these symptoms with type 1 diabetes:
Unintended weight loss
Severe fatigue and mood changes such as irritability
Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes
You’ll usually develop the symptoms of type 2 diabetes slowly over time. Because of this, you may not even realize you have diabetes for quite some time. In fact, many people with type 2 diabetes aren’t diagnosed until other health problems appear. In general, you should start having regular blood sugar screenings once you’re 45 years old.
With type 2 diabetes, you can have the general symptoms of diabetes along with other symptoms including:
Impotence, or erectile dysfunction (ED)
Frequent infections such as yeast infections
Odd sensations such as tingling in your hands or feet
Symptoms of a Serious Condition
When your blood sugar levels get too high or too low, you are at risk for serious and even life-threatening complications. Severely high blood sugar can lead to a condition called diabetic ketoacidosis. Coma, seizures, and death can also occur. Symptoms that may indicate dangerously high blood sugar levels include:
Confusion and weakness
Dry skin or mouth
Fruity smelling breath
Severe thirst and frequent urination
Severely low blood sugar levels can also be dangerous. Symptoms of dangerously low blood sugar levels include:
Behavior changes, such as aggression, confusion, or extreme irritability
Pounding heart beats
Shakiness or passing out
Sweaty or clammy skin
Seek immediate medical care (or call 911) if you are with someone who has diabetes and they have symptoms of a serious condition, their symptoms are not responding to treatment, or they have passed out.