Diabetes Symptoms

Recognizing the early signs of diabetes

While pre-diabetes may not have any symptoms to herald the onset of the disease, paying attention to any early symptoms you may experience can go a long way to ensuring that diabetes mellitus does not cause any undue damage to your body. The symptoms of diabetes vary with the different types. However, learning what to look for in general will help you identify when medical intervention might be needed.

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Your diabetes diagnosis will fall into one of three types, depending on the cause of the disease. Diabetes symptoms, then, are based on the type of diabetes you have contracted. While there are classic signs across the board, gestational diabetes, for example, rarely shows any early symptoms and can only be caught by screening. This is why it is important to ensure that you get regular medical checkups that include glucose testing to monitor any early signs of diabetes.

Diabetes signs and symptoms

While symptoms of diabetes mellitus do vary according to type, there are several classic symptoms that show up in all three cases. They include:

  • Excessive thirst (polydipsia), often for cold water or ice
  • Excessive urination throughout the day and night—sometimes patients will experience enuresis due to the excessive production of urine
  • Increased hunger
  • Fatigue and weight loss
  • Dehydration (due to excess urination)

Your doctor may be able to diagnose you based on those symptoms alone; however, he or she will perform several glucose tests (fasting, post-prandial and waking) to determine what type of diabetes you have and how best to treat it.

Type 1 symptoms are usually those listed above. However, type 2 symptoms vary, and sometimes there are no early symptoms at all and the disease can only be detected through screening.

Most diabetes symptoms will lessen with the introduction of insulin or other drugs that can control the damage being done to the cells in the body. Strict attention to a low-carb, low-fat diet can also help relieve symptoms. Left untreated, diabetes can cause cardiovascular problems and eventually death. This is why it's important to pay attention to any early signs and receive medical attention as soon as symptoms make themselves known.