Diabetes Symptoms

Symptoms of diabetes can vary, but the American Academy of Family Physicians says typical symptoms, especially for Type 1 diabetes, include:

  • frequent urination
  • excessive thirst
  • blurry vision
  • tingling or numbness in the hands and feet
  • unexplained weight loss despite eating more than usual
  • extreme tiredness or irritability

In Type 2 diabetes there may not be any symptoms, especially initially. This is why screening and lifestyle changes are so important, especially if you have any of the risk factors for diabetes. Type 2 diabetes occurs most often after the age of 40 (although the American Diabetes Association says there is an alarming - potentially lifestyle-related - increase in the number of people under age 40 now developing this kind of diabetes). It's estimated that millions of people have type 2 diabetes and do not know it. Talk to your doctor about being tested for diabetes, especially if any of the following risk factors apply to you:

  • you have a family history of diabetes
  • you are more than twenty percent over your ideal weight
  • you have high blood pressure or high blood cholesterol
  • you belong to a racial or ethnic group at higher risk, including Hispanic, African American or Native American
  • you developed diabetes during pregnancy or delivered a large baby (9 pounds or heavier)