Are you worried that you, your child or someone you know, may have diabetes? Having some of the signs of diabetes doesn’t mean you definitely have the condition, but you should always contact your GP, just to make sure.
The common symptoms of diabetes
- Going to the toilet a lot, especially at night.
- Being really thirsty.
- Feeling more tired than usual.
- Losing weight without trying to.
- Genital itching or thrush.
- Cuts and wounds take longer to heal.
- Blurred vision.
Although the majority of people with Type 1 diabetes are diagnosed in childhood and early adulthood, the symptoms are the same at any age. Adults diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes may not recognise their symptoms as quickly as children, which in turn will prove detrimental as diagnosis then treatment may be delayed. The 4 Ts campaign (see below) describes the symptoms to recognise in children; however, these will match symptoms in adults and could include a further ‘T’, Thrush. High levels of glucose being passed in the urine are a perfect breeding ground for the fungal infection which causes thrush.
Why does diabetes create these symptoms?
These symptoms occur because some or all of the glucose stays in the blood, and isn’t being used as fuel for energy. The body tries to reduce blood glucose levels by flushing the excess glucose out of the body in the urine.
I have some diabetes symptoms. What now?
If you have any of symptoms of diabetes, you should contact your GP. It doesn’t necessarily mean you have diabetes, but it’s worth checking – early diagnosis, treatment and good control are vital for good health and reduce the chances of developing serious complications.
Spotting Type 1 diabetes in children
To help you spot the four most common symptoms of Type 1 diabetes in children and young people, Diabetes UK has created the 4 Ts of Type 1 diabetes.
Watch the video below, or go to our 4 Ts page to find out more.
What happens if you ignore the signs of diabetes?
It’s hard to ignore the signs of Type 1 diabetes because symptoms can often appear quite quickly. But leaving it untreated can lead to serious health problems, including diabetic ketoacidosis, which can result in a potentially fatal coma.
Type 2 diabetes can be easier to miss as it develops more slowly, especially in the early stages when it can be harder to spot the symptoms. But untreated diabetes affects many major organs, including your heart, blood vessels, nerves, eyes and kidneys. Being diagnosed early and controlling your blood sugar levels can help prevent these complications, so check your risk here.