Signs and symptoms of diabetes

Type 1 and type 2 diabetes share similar symptoms, however the symptoms for type 1 will be more obvious and develop more quickly, whereas type 2 symptoms will be less obvious and may develop over a period of a couple of years. Once symptoms are noticed, diabetes is diagnosed and treatment is started, the symptoms will be quickly alleviated and the condition will be much easier to manage.

The symptoms occur because some, or all, of the glucose stays in the blood and isn’t being used as fuel for energy. Therefore the body tries to reduce blood glucose levels by itself by flushing the excess glucose out of the body in urine.

Main symptoms of undiagnosed diabetes to look out for:

  • Passing urine more often than normal, especially throughout the night
  • Increased thirst
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Genital itching or regular episodes of thrush
  • Slow healing of cuts and wounds
  • Blurred vision

You should visit your GP or healthcare professional as soon as you notice these symptoms, as early diagnosis of diabetes type 1 or type 2 will give you the best chance to keep is under control and will prevent the risk of developing further complications.

Hypoglycaemia and hyperglycaemia:

The key to successfully managing your diabetes is getting the right balance of medication, insulin injections, diet and physical activity; however if the balance isn’t right then your blood glucose levels can either get too high (hyperglycaemia) or too low (hypoglycaemia). At some point or another, those suffering with diabetes are likely to encounter these problems, especially at the beginning of their condition as they discover which treatments and diets work best for them.

Hypoglycaemia can be quite common and is a result of glucose levels in the blood being too low. This can be caused by excess insulin, missed meals, unplanned physical activity, not eating enough carbs or large quantities of alcohol without food. Common symptoms of a hypo include feeling shaky, sweating, tiredness, hunger, blurred vision, lack of concentration and headaches. A hypo can be treated with a slight boost of glucose with the help of something sweet and sugary.

Hyperglycaemia is a little less common and occurs when glucose levels in the blood are too high, which can be caused from a missed medication dose or eating too many carbohydrates for your insulin or medication to cope with. It can also occur if you’re feeling stressed, unwell or over-treating a hypo. Symptoms include feeling lethargic and tired, suffering from headaches, urinating more often than normal and feeling thirsty.

One Touch can help to prevent hypos and hypers as monitoring your diabetes with blood glucose meters will help you pinpoint when your blood sugar is getting too high or too low.