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What are the Symptoms of Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes?

Diabetes symptoms vary depending on how much your blood sugar is elevated. Some people, especially those with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, may not experience symptoms initially. In type 1 diabetes, symptoms tend to come on quickly and be more severe.

Some of the signs and symptoms of type 1 and type 2 diabetes are:

  • Increased thirst
    • As your tissues become dehydrated, you will become thirsty. Increased thirst is another common diabetes symptom. The more you urinate, the more you need to drink, and vice versa.
  • Frequent urination
    • If you need to urinate frequently, particularly if you often have to get up at night to use the bathroom – it could be a symptom of diabetes. Elevated glucose levels force fluids from your cells. This increases the amount of fluid delivered to the kidneys. This makes you need to urinate more. It may also eventually make you dehydrated.
  • Fatigue
    • Feeling worn down is another common symptom of diabetes. Glucose is normally one of the body’s main sources of energy. When cells cannot absorb sugar, you can become fatigued or feel exhausted.
  • Blurred Vision
    • In the short term, high glucose levels can cause a swelling of the lens in the eye. This leads to blurry vision. Getting your blood sugar under control can help correct vision problems. If blood sugar levels remain high for a long time, other eye problems can occur.
  • Frequent Infections
    • People with diabetes are also at risk for serious bladder infections. In people without diabetes, bladder infections are usually painful. However, diabetics may not have that sensation of pain with urination. The infection may not be detected until it has spread to the kidneys.
  • Slow-Healing Sores
    • Infections, cuts, and bruises that don’t heal quickly are another classic sign of diabetes. Elevated glucose levels may make it harder for your body to heal. Therefore, injuries like cuts and sores stay open longer. This makes them more susceptible to infection.
  • Irritability
    • The extra effort your body is expending to compensate for its glucose deficiency can make you quite irritable.
  • Extreme Hunger
    • Extreme hunger is another sign of diabetes and can come from sharp peaks and lows in blood sugar levels. When blood sugar levels plummet, the body thinks it hasn’t been fed and craves more of the glucose that cells need to function.
  • Unexplained Weight Loss
    • Overly high blood sugar levels can also cause rapid unhealthy weight loss. Because the insulin hormone isn’t getting glucose into the cells, where it can be used as energy, the body thinks it’s starving and starts breaking down protein from the muscles as an alternate source of fuel.
  • Skin Problems
    • Itchy skin, perhaps the result of dry skin or poor circulation, can often be a warning sign of diabetes, as are other skin conditions, such as acanthosis nigricans.


Although Type 1 diabetes can develop at any age, it typically appears during childhood or adolescence. Type 2 diabetes, the more common type, can develop at any age, though it’s more common in people older than 40.