4 Top Early Symptoms of Diabetes in 2024


How do you know if you have diabetes? The warning signs may be so mild that you don’t notice them. Some people don’t find out they have it until they get problems from long-term damage caused by the disease. Most early symptoms are from higher-than-normal levels of glucose, a kind of sugar, in your blood.

Early Signs of Diabetes:

  1. Hunger and fatigue. Did you know? Your body converts the food you eat into glucose that your cells use for energy. These cells need insulin to take in the glucose. If your body doesn’t make enough insulin or if your body resists the insulin your body makes, the glucose can’t get into your cells. Therefore, you find yourself having no energy.
  2. Feeling parched and peeing often. Most people pee between four to seven times within 24 hours. Those with diabetes may find themselves using the restroom more often. Normally, your body reabsorbs glucose as it passes through your kidneys, but when diabetes pushes your blood sugar up, your kidneys may not be able to bring it all back in. This causes your body to make more urine. The excessive peeing causes you to feel thirsty, which causes you to pee more.
  3. Dry mouth and itchy skin. Since your body is using your fluids to pee, there’s less moisture in your body. This causes dehydration which often leads to dry mouth and itchy skin.
  4. Blurred vision. The changing fluid levels in your body may make the lenses in your eyes swell up. Your lenses will change shape and can’t focus.

Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes

If your glucose level has been high for a long time, you may notice these symptoms.

  • Yeast infections. Did you know? Both men and women can get yeast infections. Yeast feeds on glucose, so having plenty makes it thrive. The infections can grow in any warm, moist fold of skin including between our fingers and toes, under breasts and in or around sex organs.
  • Slow-healing sores or cuts. Over time the high blood sugar can affect your blood flow and cause nerve damage. This makes it hard for your body to heal wounds.
  • Pain or numbness in your feet or legs. This is another result of nerve damage.

Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes

  • Unplanned weight loss. If your body isn’t getting enough energy from food, it will start burning muscle and fat for energy instead. You may lose weight even though you haven’t changed how you eat.
  • Nausea and vomiting. When your body starts burning fat, it makes ketones. These can build up in your blood to dangerous levels. A possibly life-threating condition called diabetic ketoacidosis, which makes you feel sick to your stomach.

When to Call Your Doctor

If you’re older than 45 or have other risks for diabetes, it’s important to get tested. Call your doctor if you:

  • Feel sick to your stomach, weak and very thirsty
  • Are peeing a lot
  • Have a bad belly ache
  • Are breathing more deeply and faster than normal
  • Have sweet breath that smells like nail polish remover

Regular checkups with your primary care doctor can help catch diabetes early, which is important for staying healthy. When diabetes is found early, it can be easier to manage. This means you might avoid the serious problems diabetes can cause, like heart disease or kidney damage. Getting screened for diabetes during primary doctor visits helps keep you healthy and can prevent bigger issues later on.