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  • Writer's pictureDr. Karuturi Subrahmanyam

Diabetes Symptoms

Diabetes is a chronic health condition that affects how your body turns food into energy. There are two main types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2, with gestational diabetes occurring during pregnancy. Early detection and management are key to preventing complications. Recognizing the symptoms of diabetes can lead to an earlier diagnosis and more effective management.

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes occurs when your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t effectively use the insulin it makes. Insulin is a hormone that helps glucose (sugar) from food get into your cells to be used for energy. When there’s not enough insulin or cells stop responding to insulin, too much blood sugar stays in your bloodstream. Over time, that can cause serious health problems.

Types of Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes: An autoimmune condition where the body attacks insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. It typically appears in childhood or adolescence.

Type 2 Diabetes: A condition where the body becomes resistant to insulin or doesn’t produce enough insulin. It is more common in adults but is increasingly seen in children.

Gestational Diabetes: Diabetes that develops during pregnancy and usually goes away after giving birth. However, it increases the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later.

Common Symptoms of Diabetes

While the symptoms of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes can overlap, there are some key differences in how they typically present.

Frequent Urination

• Description: Also known as polyuria, frequent urination occurs when the body tries to get rid of excess glucose in the blood through urine.

• Details: You may notice an increased need to urinate, especially at night.

Increased Thirst

• Description: Also known as polydipsia, increased thirst is a common symptom due to the loss of fluids through frequent urination.

• Details: You may feel unusually thirsty and unable to quench your thirst.

Extreme Hunger

• Description: Also known as polyphagia, extreme hunger occurs because the body can’t use glucose for energy properly, leading to increased hunger.

• Details: Even after eating, you may still feel hungry.

Unexplained Weight Loss

• Description: Rapid weight loss, despite eating more than usual, is a symptom more common in Type 1 diabetes.

• Details: The body starts burning muscle and fat for energy when it can’t get enough glucose from food.


• Description: Feeling extremely tired and fatigued is common in both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

• Details: This occurs because the body’s cells aren’t getting the glucose they need for energy.

Blurred Vision

• Description: High blood sugar levels can cause the lens of the eye to swell, leading to blurred vision.

• Details: You might notice difficulty focusing or frequent changes in your vision.

Slow-Healing Sores or Frequent Infections

• Description: High blood sugar can impair your body’s ability to heal and fight infections.

• Details: You might experience frequent infections, such as gum, skin, or vaginal infections, and cuts or sores that are slow to heal.

Numbness or Tingling in Hands or Feet

• Description: Known as neuropathy, this symptom is more common in Type 2 diabetes due to prolonged high blood sugar levels damaging nerves.

• Details: You might feel a tingling, numbness, or pain in your extremities.

Darkened Skin Areas

• Description: A condition called acanthosis nigricans can cause dark, velvety patches of skin, usually in the armpits or neck.

• Details: This is a common sign of insulin resistance, often seen in Type 2 diabetes.

When to See a Doctor

If you notice any of these symptoms, especially if you have a family history of diabetes or other risk factors, see your doctor for a blood test. Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial for managing diabetes and preventing complications.

Managing Diabetes Symptoms

Monitoring Blood Sugar Levels

• Description: Regular monitoring helps you manage your blood sugar levels effectively.

• Details: Use a glucometer as directed by your healthcare provider to keep track of your blood glucose levels.

Healthy Eating

• Description: A balanced diet can help manage blood sugar levels.

• Details: Focus on whole grains, vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Avoid sugary foods and beverages.

Regular Exercise

• Description: Physical activity helps your body use insulin more efficiently.

• Details: Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week, such as walking, swimming, or cycling.


• Description: Medications or insulin therapy may be necessary to manage blood sugar levels.

• Details: Follow your doctor’s instructions regarding any prescribed medications or insulin.

Regular Check-ups

• Description: Regular medical appointments are crucial for monitoring and managing diabetes.

• Details: Keep up with scheduled check-ups to monitor your blood sugar levels and adjust your treatment plan as needed.

Dr. Karuturi Subrahmanyam, MD, FRCP (London), FACP (USA)

Internal Medicine Specialist

Kify Hospital



Phone : 85000 23456

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