You should first know that there are several different types of Diabetes. You can learn more about that in our blog post Do I Have Diabetes? The major difference between Type 1 & Type 2 Diabetes symptoms is not what they are, but how strong you feel them. With Type 2, the warning signs can be so mild that you don’t even notice them. But with Type 1, they happen quickly and are much more severe. By quickly, we mean in a matter of days or a few weeks. If you feel any of these from our Diabetes Top Symptoms Checklist, get tested.
Diabetes Top Symptoms Checklist
- Hunger - When you have Diabetes, your muscles aren’t getting the energy they need from the food it’s getting. That’s why you can eat and eat and eat, but still feel hungry. The insulin needed to get glucose into your cells for energy isn’t there or isn’t there in enough quantity. But your body doesn’t know that. It just knows it isn’t getting the necessary energy. So, it keeps sending the signal: More Food!
- Thirsty - It doesn’t matter how much you drink, you still feel thirsty. You feel dehydrated. With good reason, you are dehydrated. Because of low to no insulin, the glucose gets stuck in your bloodstream with nowhere to go. As a result, the body pulls fluids from the tissue to try to dilute the blood and flush the glucose out. That, of course, leads to the next symptom…
- Frequent Urination - Because you’re drinking so much, it’s got to go somewhere. But not only that, as we said previously, the body is trying to get rid of the excess glucose too. Only way out for it is through urination.
- Fatigue - You’re eating and you’re eating, but the body isn’t getting the glucose into the cells, so that means no energy. No energy means you start feeling very tired. It doesn’t matter how much sleep you get. You’re tired.
- Weight Loss - Wait what? But we just got through telling you that the body wasn’t getting what it needs from the food AND you’re eating more. How is this possible? Your body doesn’t give up is how. If it can’t get what it needs the regular way, it will find a workaround. Your body starts breaking down muscle and fat, using that to fuel itself. This is a VERY serious sign. Your body is starting to shut down when this happens.
- More Infections - Especially with Type 2 Diabetes, you will experience more infections. Women tend to get yeast and/or bladder infections. The body is compromised by having a high level of glucose in the blood. Bacteria can flourish in that environment. So, more infections.
- Slow Wound Healing - Small cuts or even bruises don’t heal quite as fast as usual. Needless to say, larger cuts and bruises heal at a glacial pace. The reason why is healing the body is the job of white blood cells. When there’s a high level of glucose in your blood, that hampers the ability of the white blood cells to do their job.
- Nerve Damage - Your nerves, like your cells and muscles, get nourished through the oxygen and nutrients carried in your bloodstream. Excess glucose strains the system, damaging the small blood vessels nerves need. Once those blood vessels die, so does the nerve eventually. That means you’ll start to feel either pain or numbness in your feet and legs.
- Blurry Vision - Remember how your body is trying to flush out the glucose? And it pulls fluid from wherever it can? Some of the fluid it pulls on is the one in your eye. You may find yourself unable to focus, which eventually leads to blurry vision.
- Itchy Skin - Along with the theme of pulling water from skin, the result is dry skin, which in turn causes it to flake and itch.
- Bad Breath - Bacteria is flourishing in your bloodstream. That bacteria can lead to bad breath. If your breath starts to smell like nail polish remover, that’s specifically a sign that there are very high ketones in your body. Ketones result when your body starts burning fat for fuel.
- Vomiting & Nausea - Those ketones will also start building up in your body, even to a dangerous level. That’s actually a VERY serious condition called ketoacidosis, which is life-threatening. Consequently, your body tries to purge the ketones, which already have the ability to make you feel sick to your stomach. It’s never a good thing when you vomit. Nothing natural about it. If you’re throwing up, talk to a doctor.
Regardless if you are feeling any of these symptoms or not, if you have a family member that has a history of Diabetes, get tested. That trumps all the other risk factors. Diabetes is highly hereditary!