The Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes

A list of 12 common symptoms and how the condition is diagnosed



The symptoms of Type 1 diabetes can easily be mistaken for other illnesses, including the flu. Unfortunately, a missed diagnosis can be fatal, so it’s important to seek medical help if Type 1 diabetes is suspected. It’s much better to test for Type 1 diabetes and receive a negative diagnosis than not test and miss a diagnosis.

Here are the most common symptoms of the onset of Type 1 diabetes:

  • Frequent Urination
  • Excessive thirst
  • Excessive hunger
  • Feeling tired all or much of the time
  • Nausea
  • Loss of muscle mass and unexplained weight loss
  • Blurring of vision

Other symptoms can include:

  • Unexpected cramping
  • Fast heart rate
  • Skin infections
  • Excessive sweating
  • Restlessness or insomnia

Anyone experiencing any of the above symptoms of Type 1 diabetes should see a medical professional as soon as possible and be administered a blood test to detect blood glucose levels. Untreated Type 1 diabetes can lead to a potentially life-threatening condition known as diabetic ketoacidosis, as well as lifelong complications, so it is important to get a proper diagnosis as soon as possible.

Medical professionals can sometimes overlook the symptoms of Type 1 diabetes or mistake those symptoms for another condition. It is the patient’s right to ask for a blood sugar test even if a medical professional and patient are in disagreement.

Once Type 1 diabetes is diagnosed, blood sugar levels can be regulated through insulin therapy (as well as possibly other drug therapies). If a person with Type 1 diabetes is in the midst of diabetic ketoacidosis, it might also be necessary to treat that condition in a hospital setting at time of diagnosis.

Craig Idlebrook contributed to this article.

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Ian is a student at Union College, majoring in Political Science with a concentration in renewable energy and government policy. He enjoys writing, traveling, and following the inspiring stories of the sports world.