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Signs and Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of diabetes are related to high glucose levels (hyperglycemia), low glucose levels (hypoglycemia), and complications associated with diabetes. Type 1 diabetics are often diagnosed with acute severe symptoms that require hospitalization. With prediabetes, early type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes, there usually are no signs or symptoms.

Signs and symptoms of type 1 and type 2 diabetes with hyperglycemia may include:

  • Increased thirst
  • Increased urination
  • Increased appetite (with type 1, weight loss is also seen)
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain (especially in children) 
  • Blurred vision
  • Slow-healing wounds or infections
  • Numbness, tingling, and pain in the feet (neuropathy)
  • Erectile dysfunction in men
  • Absence of menstruation in women
  • Rapid breathing (acute)
  • Decreased consciousness, coma (acute)

Symptoms of impending hypoglycemia:
Temporary hypoglycemia in the diabetic may be caused by the accidental injection of too much insulin, not eating enough or waiting too long to eat, exercising strenuously, or by the swings in glucose levels seen with "brittle" diabetes. Hypoglycemia needs to be addressed as soon as it is noticed as it can rapidly progress to unconsciousness. Signs and symptoms include:

  • Sudden severe hunger
  • Headache
  • Anxiety, confusion
  • Sweating
  • Trembling, weakness
  • Double vision
  • Convulsions
  • Coma

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