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Type 1 Diabetes Symptoms

Type 1 Diabetes Symptoms

Frequent Urination

Also known as Polyurea, frequent urination is a prominent symptom of undiagnosed diabetes. This symptom is when you experience more trips to the bathroom. The urine may also be in more massive amounts.

If not treated in time, this causes dehydration and even cause damage to your kidney. Polyurea is an indication that there is excess sugar in your blood that your kidney is desperately trying to remove.

In the attempt to get rid of the excess sugar in your blood, your kidneys focus on getting rid of water hence the frequent urination. Normally, kidneys reabsorb sugar from urine and back into the bloodstream.

With type 1 diabetes, the glucose ends up in the urine. While here, it absorbs more water which increases the quantity of urine.

Increased Thirst

This symptom is also known as polydipsia. A dry mouth usually accompanies it and if severe, chapped lips. It is one of the most ignored symptoms of diabetes as everyone gets thirsty now and then especially after activity or on a hot day.

Excessive thirst, in this case, is as a result of dehydration caused by frequent urination. The fact that your kidneys are also working hard to get rid of water due to hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) also leads to this.

Polydipsia may also occur as a result of kidney failure. If you experience persistent dehydration even after drinking lots of water or pass more than 5 liters of urine per day, then you probably have polydipsia.

Unexplained Weight Loss

Female showing weight loss

Losing weight without trying is cause for alarm. This symptom is also a common symptom that’s strung to undiagnosed diabetes. With diabetes, there is a deficiency of glucose in cells to be used for energy.

The body is forced to burn fat and muscle which dramatically affects one’s body weight. You should seek medical attention if you notice sudden weight loss, about 10 pounds within 6-12 months. Dehydration may also contribute to this.

Excessive Hunger

Medically, this is known as polyphagia. Increased hunger or increased appetite, in this case, can be brought about by the hyperglycemia.

When your blood sugar levels remain at a constant high, your body forces you to convert the food that you eat to generate energy. In this case, you experience frequent hunger pangs as your body depends on the food you eat for energy.

The more active you are, the more the pangs.

The problem with this is that eating more does not meet the need for energy. It piles on to the already high glucose levels which make matters worse. If you notice a sudden spike in appetite or unusually frequent hunger pangs, it is best that you consult your doctor.


Fatigue doesn’t disappear after a good nights rest. It continuously persists day after day. Persistence is what sets it apart from typical exhaustion.

Diabetes is known to string along fatigue as a symptom due to the lack of insulin. When not enough glucose is penetrating cells, the body becomes deprived of energy. Deprivation means that there isn’t enough energy to fuel our activities.

When the body strain too much to get things done, we get excessively exhausted. You may become exhausted to the point where sleep isn’t beneficial.

You can quickly detect this symptom if you frequently experience an energy drain that lasts most of or all day, difficulty in performing simple tasks, and mental fatigue. It is time to call your doctor if the fatigue continuously persists for 3-4 weeks even after getting ample rest.


Sometimes, type 1 diabetes may string along dizziness. With the body deprived of energy and experiencing dehydration, organs struggle to perform their functions. The heart might be sluggish in pumping blood to the head.

Dehydration may also interfere with the brains performance hence lightheadedness. You should call your doctor when you notice persistent and recurring dizzy spells. They may ask how frequent they occur to determine whether there is a pattern.

Therefore, it is best that you record the dizzy spells for your doctor. Additionally, you may experience symptoms such as nausea due to the unpredictable rise and fall of blood sugar.

Delayed Healing

Wounds may also take longer to heal due to the high levels of blood glucose which affect the nerves. High glucose further leads to poor blood circulation which hinders blood from reaching the injured areas to stimulate repair.

These wounds can remain open for even months which puts you at risk of fungal infections, gangrene, and bacterial infections. If not treated early enough, this puts you at risk of amputation.

Blurred Vision

High blood sugar can interfere with your vision. You experience temporary blurred vision which resolves once the blood sugar returns to normal range.

Getting a Doctors Advice

The symptoms of type 1 diabetes can string each other along and can occur at any point after the development of this chronic illness.

Some of these symptoms are easy to ignore or be mistakenly diagnosed as other common illness, but a blood sugar test detects the underlying cause, diabetes. Self-medicating suppress the symptoms for a little while, but they recur shortly with more severity.

Remember, consulting your doctor as soon as you notice these symptoms goes a long way in managing this illness.

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