New Health Guide

Symptoms of Diabetes Mellitus

Oct 10, 2014

Diabetes mellitus is a condition marked by high blood sugar levels. Symptoms of diabetes mellitus vary depending on the degree of blood sugar elevation. Many prediabetics and people with type 2 diabetes do not experience any symptom initially. However, people with type 1 diabetes have symptoms that appear early in life, which can be more severe. This article discusses the signs and symptoms of diabetes mellitus (types 1 and 2).

Here is a video to give you an overview of diabetes mellitus:

Symptoms of Diabetes Mellitus



Extreme Thirst and Frequent Urination

High blood glucose levels cause the body to draw more water from the tissues, which makes one feel dehydrated. This leads to a feeling of constant thirst so that one tends to drink lots of water and fluids, causing frequent urination.

Flu-like Symptoms

Diabetics sometimes feel flu-like symptoms similar to those of a viral illness, such as weakness and decreased appetite. This is because sugar, the body's main source of energy does not reach the cells, making one feel tired or weak.

Weight Loss or Gain

Many diabetics gain weight because they eat more to compensate for lack of sugar and fluids in their cells. However, in people with type 1 diabetes, the opposite happens – they lose weight in spite of eating more than usual because their cells do not absorb enough energy from the foods they eat.

Blur in Vision

Elevated blood sugar levels draw fluid out of various body tissues, including the lenses of the eyes, leading to blurred vision. Vision may improve when blood sugar levels are controlled. However, over many years, new blood vessels may form in the retina at the back of the eye and old blood vessels may be damaged. Although some people experience mild vision changes, others become blind.

Slow Healing Sores

The body's ability to fight infection and to heal wounds is reduced. Women usually suffer from recurrent urinary tract and vaginal infections.

Nerve Damage

Diabetes can lead to nerve damage, which leads to tingling and numbness in the hands and feet. Others also experience burning pain in the arms, hands, legs, and feet. Older diabetic men may experience sexual dysfunction due to nerve damage, which prevents penile erection.

Red and Tender Gums

Infection in the gums and supporting bones that hold teeth in place results in loosening of teeth and gum sores.

Increased Hunger

Diabetics often experience intense hunger due to lack of insulin, a hormone that moves sugar into the cells. This leads to depletion of energy in the muscles and organs, which triggers intense hunger.

Darkened Skin

Some diabetics dark skin folds and creases, especially in the back of the neck and armpits. This condition is called acanthosis nigricans, which may be an indication of insulin resistance.

Other Symptoms

Feeling tired most of the time


Very dry skin