Thesymptoms of diabetes include feeling very thirsty, passing more urine than usual, and feeling tired all the time.

The symptoms occur because some or all of the glucose stays in your blood and isn't used as fuel for energy. Your body tries toget rid of the excess glucose in your urine.

The main symptoms, which are common to both Type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes, are:

  • urinating more often than usual, particularly at night
  • feeling very thirsty
  • feeling very tired
  • unexplained weight loss
  • itching around the penis or vagina,or frequent episodes of thrush
  • cuts or wounds that heal slowly
  • blurred vision caused by the lens of the eye becoming dry

The signs and symptoms oftype 1 diabetes are usually obvious and develop very quickly, oftenover a few weeks.

Thesesigns and symptoms aren't always as obvious, however,and it's often diagnosed during a routine check-up.

This is becausethey are often mild and develop gradually over a number of years. This means you may havetype 2 diabetes for many years without realising it.

Early diagnosis and treatment for type 2 diabetes is very important as it may reduce your risk of developing complications later on.


Type 2 diabetes occurs when thepancreas, alarge gland behind the stomach, can't produce enough insulin to control your blood glucose level, or when the cells in your body don't respond properly to the insulin that is produced.

This means your blood glucose levels may become very high, andis known as hyperglycaemia .

Hyperglycaemia can occur for several reasons, including:

  • eating too much
  • being unwell
  • ineffective diabetes medication,or not taking enough

Hyperglycaemia causes the main symptomsof diabetes, which include extreme thirst and frequent urination.

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 1 Jul 2016