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What are the symptoms of diabetes?

Symptoms can vary among individuals and the type of diabetes. Common symptoms include excessive thirst and excessive urination.

Type 1 diabetes generally develops quickly, often in children, and symptoms can be severe and occur suddenly. In contrast, type 2 diabetes generally develops gradually from a condition called prediabetes, and symptoms may not occur or be noticeable for years.

Pregnant women who develop gestational diabetes often do not have symptoms, but they may experience excessive thirst and excessive urination.

Symptoms of type 1 diabetes

Symptoms of type 1 diabetes include:

  • Excessive hunger
  • Feeling very thirsty
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Frequent urination
  • Irritability and mood changes
  • Severe fatigue
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss

Symptoms of type 2 diabetes

Symptoms of type 2 diabetes include:

  • Any of the type 1 diabetes symptoms above
  • Blurred or changing vision
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Frequent infections, especially yeast or fungal infections
  • Slow-healing wounds or bruises
  • Tingling or other unusual sensations in the hands or feet
  • Weakness

Serious symptoms that might indicate a life-threatening condition

Symptoms of diabetes that can indicate a dangerous change in your blood sugar level or a life-threatening complication, such as diabetic ketoacidosis, can occur suddenly and rapidly.

Symptoms of high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) and diabetic ketoacidosis include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Confusion
  • Dry skin and mouth
  • Frequent urination
  • Severe thirst
  • Shortness of breath
  • Smell of fruit on the breath
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness

Symptoms of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) include:

  • Aggressive behavior
  • Confusion
  • Extreme irritability
  • Feeling shaky or faint
  • Headache
  • Hunger
  • Pounding heart (palpitations)
  • Sweating or clammy skin
  • Trembling

Very high or low blood sugar levels that remain untreated can lead to:

  • Loss of consciousness and coma
  • Seizures
  • Death

Get immediate help (call 911) if you are with someone who has diabetes and who is exhibiting any life-threatening symptoms or has passed out.