What are the Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes?

Valerie M. Turner, MSN, RN, CDE

Diabetes Connections 4 Life

Symptoms of Type 1 diabetes can begin quickly, in a matter of weeks. Symptoms of type 1 diabetes include:

Extreme thirst

Excessive urination

Constant hunger

Weight loss


Blurred vision

When a person has type 1 diabetes they produce little to no insulin. Without insulin glucose (sugar) continues to build up in the bloodstream. Some of the excess glucose leaves the body through the urine, taking lots of water with it. This causes the person to be very thirsty. Due to the cells not getting energy from glucose, body fat is used for energy. This accounts for the sudden weight loss, even though the person is constantly hungry and eating. Burning a lot of fat very quickly causes a buildup of acids of acids called ketones. If ketones become excessive, it can lead to a life threatening disease called diabetic ketoacidosis or DKA.

Symptoms of Type 2 diabetes often develops slowly. Some people have no symptoms. Others may have symptoms such as:


Weight loss

Increased thirst

Slow healing

Increased hunger

Sexual problems

Blurred vision

Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet

When a person has type 2 diabetes, the symptoms can develop over the course of several years and be so mild that you might not notice them. Some people do not find out they have the disease until they have diabetes-related health problems such as; blurred vision or heat trouble.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Basics About Diabetes: What are the Symptoms of Diabetes? https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/diabetes.html Last updated March 31, 2015. Accessed June 6, 2017