15 signs you may have diabetes

20 Jun 2016

There are a number of signs and symptoms that may be experienced by people with diabetes.

If you have any of the below symptoms contact your GP. Early diagnosis, treatment and good control of diabetes can reduce the chances of developing serious diabetes complications.

Common signs and symptoms include:

  • going to the toilet more often, especially noticed at night
  • dry mouth, feeling dehydrated
  • being more thirsty than usual
  • feeling tired, lethargic or irritable
  • feeling hungry constantly
  • slow healing of cuts/sores/ulcers
  • itching, skin infections or rashes
  • thrush or bladder infections
  • blurred vision
  • unexplained weight loss
  • weight changes
  • mood swings
  • headaches
  • feeling dizzy
  • pain or tingling in the legs and/or feet

In type 1 diabetes the signs and symptoms usually develop over a few days or weeks and are generally severe and can be life-threatening. Therefore, type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed quickly and treated as a matter of urgency. Untreated type 1 diabetes can lead to serious health problems, including diabetic ketoacidosis, which can result in a potentially fatal coma.

People with type 2 diabetes may have a very gradual development of signs and symptoms, or may have no symptoms at all. Signs may go unnoticed because they may be seen as part of ‘getting older’. Therefore, by the time symptoms are noticed, diabetes may have been present for some years and complications of diabetes may already be present. However, if you are having any of the above symptoms, see your doctor as you will need immediate care to control the short term complications of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes can be easier to miss, especially in the early stages when the symptoms may be mild. Diabetes affects many major organs, including your heart, blood vessels, nerves, eyes and kidneys. Being diagnosed early and controlling your blood glucose levels can help prevent these complications.

Authored by: Diabetes Department at St Vincent's. Visit our page here to learn more about us.