There are many symptoms that can point to diabetes, and recognizing them is important so the body does not incur more damage than is already being done. Although there are common symptoms that point to diabetes in general, there are other symptoms that can give a person a more specific idea on whether or not they are experiencing type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Knowing the difference between the symptoms and telling a doctor about these symptoms can get treatment to a person sooner for their specific type of diabetes, helping prevent further complications in the body that are caused by diabetes. (1)

Type 1 Diabetes:

Type 1 diabetes is the type of diabetes where the pancreas produces little or no insulin to the body, preventing the body from changing the glucose produced into energy. Along with other symptoms, like frequent urination, fatigue and hunger, there are a few other symptoms that point directly to type 1 diabetes. A person with type 1 diabetes can experience unplanned weight loss. This symptom can come along even if a person has not changed the way they eat, or are not trying to diet or lose weight. This symptom occurs because the person is not getting enough energy from meals, so it starts burning muscle and fat for energy as an alternative. (2)

Another symptom that points directly towards type 1 diabetes is nausea and vomiting. This happens because the body is resorting to burning fat, and these makes ketones. These ketones can build up in the blood to dangerous levels, and can cause a condition called diabetic ketoacidosis, which can be life threatening. The ketones can make a person feel sick to their stomach, and cause vomiting. Along with weight loss and nausea/vomiting, a person may want to ask their doctor about the possibility of type 1 diabetes. (3)

Type 1 Diabetes Treatment:

Type 1 Diabetes Treatments focus on maintaining normal blood sugar levels, healthy dieting and exercise, as well as insulin therapy.

Type 2 Diabetes:

When symptoms of type 2 diabetes appear in the body, it is after the glucose in the body has been high for a long period of time. Type 2 diabetes is the type of diabetes that affects the way the body processes blood sugar. One of the symptoms that can point to type 2 diabetes is slow-healing sores or cuts. High blood sugar can affect the body’s blood flow and cause nerve damage, which makes it hard for the body to heal wounds. Another result of nerve damage caused by high blood sugar levels is pain and numbness in the feet and/or legs. (4)

Yeast infections are common with people who have type 2 diabetes, and nth men and women who have diabetes can get them. Yeast feds on glucose, and since people with diabetes have plenty in their body, yeast can flourish. Yeast infections can grow in any warm or moist fold of skin. Examples of areas where yeast infections can happen are: in or around sex organ, between fingers an toes, and under the breasts. (5)

While there are many common symptoms that point to a general diagnosis of diabetes, the symptoms listed above can help a person and their medical professional to realize if they have type 1 or type 2 diabetes. By recognizing these symptoms early on, diabetes sufferers can prevent further damage to their body, and get the treatment they need in order to live the healthiest life they can.

Type 2 diabetes treatments include: (6)

  • Diet, exercise and weight loss
  • Glucose-lowering medications
  • Insulin therapy
  • Other medical interventions
  • Random blood sugar test. Blood sugar values are expressed in milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or millimoles per liter (mmol/L). Regardless of when you last ate, a blood sample showing that your blood sugar level is 200 mg/dL (11.1 mmol/L) or higher suggests diabetes, especially if you also have signs and symptoms of diabetes, such as frequent urination and extreme thirst. (6)
  • Fasting blood sugar test. A blood sample is taken after an overnight fast. A reading of less than 100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L) is normal. A level from 100 to 125 mg/dL (5.6 to 6.9 mmol/L) is considered prediabetes. (6)

    If your fasting blood sugar is 126 mg/dL (7 mmol/L) or higher on two separate tests, you have diabetes. (6)

  • Oral glucose tolerance test. This test is less commonly used than the others, except during pregnancy. You’ll need to fast overnight and then drink a sugary liquid at the doctor’s office. Blood sugar levels are tested periodically for the next two hours. (6)

    A blood sugar level less than 140 mg/dL (7.8 mmol/L) is normal. A reading between 140 and 199 mg/dL (7.8 mmol/L and 11.0 mmol/L) indicates prediabetes. A reading of 200 mg/dL (11.1 mmol/L) or higher after two hours suggests diabetes. (6)


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