Diabetes Symptoms & Signs in Adults, Men, Women and Children
Knowing what diabetes symptoms and signs are is vital to your current health and prognosis, or long-term outcome. For all adults, men and women, understanding diabetes symptoms will help you know when to visit your doctor for a possible diabetes diagnosis.
Over seven million people in the United States have diabetes but don’t know it (American Diabetes Association, n.d.). The fact that seven million people are undiagnosed is a bit alarming, for diabetes is a serious illness with negative, long-term health consequences. Two big reasons that this disease goes undiagnosed are that in many cases of type 2 diabetes, symptoms are subtle at best and nonexistent at worst; also, many times people are unaware of the symptoms of diabetes so they don’t know what to look for.
Let’s look at diabetes symptoms so you recognize the signs of diabetes in yourself or a loved one. These are diabetes symptoms in adults, but they can apply to children as well.
General signs and symptoms of diabetes include:
- Increased thirst
- Increased hunger, especially after eating
- Frequent urination
- Extreme fatigue
- Dry mouth
- Blurred vision
- Weight loss despite increased hunger and eating
- Numbness or tingling in the hands and feet
Other symptoms that are considered severe and are associated with type 1 diabetes are
- Deep, rapid breathing (Kussmaul respirations)
- Flushed face
- Fruity breath
- Nausea or vomiting
- Stomach pain
- See "What Are Type 1 Diabetes Symptoms and Signs? "
In addition to the general signs and symptoms, these symptoms are often part of type 2 diabetes:
- Frequent infections
- Slow-healing sores or cuts
- Dry, itchy skin
- Weight gain (or, sometimes, weight loss)
- Flu-like feeling, feeling vaguely unwell
- Formation of dark patches on the skin, especially around the neck or armpits, a condition called acanthosis
- See "What Are Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms?"
Any of these diabetes symptoms can occur in both men and women, but men and women also have unique symptoms.
Diabetes Symptoms, Men
These are diabetes symptoms in men:
- Erectile dysfunction
- Retrograde ejaculation
- Low testosterone (low T)
Diabetes Symptoms in Women
These diabetes symptoms are unique to women:
- Vaginal yeast infections
- Vaginal dryness
- Urinary tract infections
- Decreased sex drive
- Diabetes symptoms when pregnant, if they occur, are similar to the general symptoms of diabetes
If you notice any of these symptoms of diabetes, it’s a good idea to visit your doctor for an evaluation. He or she will ask you about your symptoms and talk to you about risk factors. If the doctor suspects that diabetes is a possibility, you’ll take one or more tests to see if your symptoms point to this disease.
Especially with type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes (diabetes occurring during pregnancy), symptoms can be nonexistent at first and develop very gradually while remaining mild. For this reason, if you have any diabetes risk factors, it’s important to see your doctor for check-ups and screenings every one- to three years.
Knowing the symptoms of diabetes will help you get diagnosed and begin treatment faster if you do have any type of diabetes. Learning diabetes symptoms is a way of taking charge of your health and wellbeing.
Peterson, T. (2022, January 4). Diabetes Symptoms & Signs in Adults, Men, Women and Children, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, April 1 from https://www.healthyplace.com/diabetes/main/diabetes-symptoms-signs-in-adults-men-women-and-children