Symptoms associated with diabetes include weight loss or gain, extreme thirst, frequent urination and changes in vision, as stated by the American Diabetes Association. Some symptoms present only in specific types of diabetes; experts associate weight loss, for instance, with Type 1 diabetes, and tingling or numbness in the hands or feet with Type 2 diabetes. In both types, patients may experience fatigue and lethargy, as well as constant hunger and wounds that heal slowly.
While these symptoms present in Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, people with Type 2 diabetes may have very mild symptoms that worsen only over the years as the disease progresses. The absence of noticeable symptoms may prolong patients' waiting time for scheduling medical evaluations, which increases their risks of developing complications, as noted by Mayo Clinic.
When symptoms do present, excessive thirst and frequent urination rank among the most common and classic symptoms. Kidneys rid the body of excess sugar, but in people with diabetes, sugar quickly accumulates in the blood, outpacing the kidneys' processing capacity. In turn, excess sugar enters the urinary tract, triggering frequent urination for removal. Fatigue is another common symptom; it arises from dehydration as well as the body's inability to absorb sugars from foods, in turn zapping energy. Blurred vision typically occurs in later stages of diabetes; left untreated, it may cause blindness or permanent vision problems.