Symptoms of Diabetes

Classic symptoms to look for

woman looking tiredToday one in three American adults, more than 73 million people, has diabetes or is at serious risk of developing the disease. About 19.5 million people have been diagnosed with diabetes. The number of diagnosed individuals with diabetes cases has increased dramatically in the United States.


Type 2 diabetes can develop very slowly, so slowly that many people are surprised to learn they have the disease.

The classic symptoms include:

  • Significant thirst
  • Frequent urination (especially at night)
  • Feeling tired or ill
  • Blurred vision
  • Frequent infections
  • Slow wound healing

You should see your health care professional if you have any of these symptoms. Ask your health care professional about testing for diabetes or insulin resistance during checkups. If you are overweight, you and your children may have an increased risk.

If your initial test is normal, you should be retested every three years, more often depending on your risk factors and your health care professional's recommendations. The two most common tests are the fasting plasma glucose (FPG), in which blood sugar levels are measured after you’ve fasted for a specified time; and the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), in which you drink a sugary liquid and then blood sugar levels are tested several times to see how well glucose moves into cells. The American Diabetes Association recommends you be tested with either one twice, at different times, to confirm a diagnosis.

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