Mother showing concern her daughter has symptoms of type 1 diabetes

Although warning signs can begin to show early, sometimes it takes a while to recognize the symptoms of type 1 diabetes (T1D). Here, we outline what to look for.

Common Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes

Frequent Urination (Polyuria)

Polyuria occurs when your body urinates more frequently—and often in larger amounts—than normal. Frequent urination is also a symptom of undiagnosed T1D that can lead to extreme dehydration and eventually affect your kidney function.

Extreme Thirst (Polydipsia)

When it comes to type 1 diabetes symptoms, polydipsia can be dangerous. Prolonged dehydration (signified by excessive thirst) can lead to nausea, dizziness, headaches, and fainting. And if you do have T1D but have not yet been diagnosed, this dehydration has the potential to lead to diabetic ketoacidosis which can be life-threatening.

Fatigue

One of the more common symptoms of T1D is fatigue. Being constantly tired may be a sign that the body is having trouble turning sugar in the bloodstream into energy.

Dry Mouth and Itchy Skin

If your body is dehydrated, even for a short period of time, dry mouth and itchy skin can occur.

Unexplained Weight Loss

Increased hunger or unexpected weight loss is often a sign your body can’t get adequate energy from the food you eat.


Symptoms of Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA)

If you find yourself experiencing any of the following symptoms:

    • drowsy or lethargic
    • pain or numbness in your extremities
    • vision changes
    • fruity or sweet-smelling breath
    • nausea or vomiting

These are signs that you may be experiencing diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), which can be life-threatening. Contact your doctor immediately.

Learn more about diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).


Less Common Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes

Changes in Vision

High blood sugar levels can damage the blood vessels in the eye, which sometimes causes blurred vision or other eyesight problems.

Irritability and Mood Swings

Blood sugar fluctuations can make you feel like you’re on an emotional rollercoaster or cause you to be short-tempered.

Slow-Healing Cuts

High blood sugar levels can affect blood flow and cause nerve damage, which makes healing difficult. So having slow-healing cuts or sores is also a potential sign of diabetes.

Yeast infections

Yeast infections may occur in men and women who have type 1 diabetes because of yeast feeding on excess glucose in the blood.

Visit our Symptoms page for more information on symptoms of type 1 diabetes.