Diabetes: the first symptoms that should alert you

Symptoms of diabetes are often subtle before they really start or you are diagnosed. Here are the symptoms that should alert you and prompt you to see your doctor.

Hundreds of thousands of people have diabetes, but don’t know it. The first symptoms of diabetes, especially type 2 diabetes, are not always obvious. In fact, the signs and symptoms can come on so gradually that you can have type 2 diabetes for years before you are diagnosed with the disease.

But if you notice the signs and following symptoms, make an appointment to see your doctor:

  • Increased thirst and urination
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Increased hunger
  • Slow healing of wounds and frequent infections
  • Red swollen gums
  • Tingling or numbness in your hands or feet

Understanding the possible symptoms of diabetes can lead to early diagnosis and treatment, which can help prevent complications from diabetes and lead to a better quality of life.

Here are more details on the signs and symptoms of diabetes:

Excessive thirst and increased urination

Excessive thirst and increased urination urination is a common sign and symptom of diabetes. When you have diabetes, excess glucose, a type of sugar, builds up in your blood. Your kidneys are forced to work overtime to filter and absorb excess glucose.

When your kidneys cannot keep up, excess glucose is excreted in your urine, causing you to dehydrated. This will generate a feeling of frequent thirst. As you drink more fluids to quench your thirst, you will urinate more.


Diabetes can make you tired. High blood sugar affects your body’s ability to use glucose for energy. Dehydration resulting from increased urination can also make you tired.

Weight Loss

When you lose glucose through frequent urination, you also lose calories. At the same time, diabetes can prevent the glucose from your food from reaching your cells, leading to constant hunger. The combined effect can potentially cause rapid weight loss, especially with type 1 diabetes.

Blurred vision

Symptoms of diabetes sometimes involve your vision. High levels of blood glucose affect the lenses in your eyes. It also affects your ability to concentrate.

If left untreated, diabetes can cause new blood vessels to form in your retina, the back of your eye, and damage the ships already there. For most people, these early changes don’t cause vision problems. However, if these changes progress undetected, they can lead to vision loss and blindness.

Slow wound healing or frequent infections

High blood glucose levels can lead to poor circulation and interfere with your body’s natural healing process. For this reason, people with diabetes may notice slow healing wounds, especially on the feet. In women with diabetes, bladder infections and changes in the vaginal flora may occur more often.

Tingling and numbness in the hands and feet

Too much glucose in your blood can affect the function of your nerves. You may notice tingling and loss of sensation (numbness) in your hands and feet, as well as burning pain in your arms, hands, legs and feet.

Red and swollen gums

Diabetes can weaken your ability to fight germs, which increases your risk of infection of your gums and in the bones that hold your teeth in place. Your gums may retract from your teeth, your teeth may come loose, or you may develop sores or pockets of pus in your gums, especially if you have a gum infection before diabetes develops.

Take your body’s signs seriously

If you notice any signs or symptoms of diabetes, communicate quickly with your doctor. Diabetes is a serious disease, and the sooner it is diagnosed, the sooner treatment can begin. With your active participation and the support of your doctor, you can manage diabetes and enjoy an active, healthy life.

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