Diabetes often goes undetected because symptoms can be attributed to many other causes and some patients experience no symptoms or fail to heed warning signs. Possible indicators of diabetes include:

Symptoms of Diabetes:
i. Frequent Urination
ii. Always Hungry
iii. Always Thirsty
iv. Blurry Vision
v. Sudden Weight Loss
Numb of tingling hands or feet
vii. Always Tired
viii. Wounds that won’t heal

Type 1 diabetes can develop rapidly and often occurs after an illness, but symptoms may be mistaken for the flu or other common conditions. Type 2 diabetes can take many years to develop and sometimes becomes apparent only after long-term complications occur, such as sexual dysfunction or leg pain that is due to diabetic neuropathy or claudication (caused by peripheral artery disease).

Some people, especially young people with type 1 diabetes, go undiagnosed until they are brought to a hospital with an emergency condition called diabetic ketoacidosis. Indicators of diabetic ketoacidosis include sweet fruity-smelling or wine-smelling breath, confusion and heavy labored breathing (Kussmaul breathing). Sometimes patients are diagnosed with diabetes only after suffering other serious complications including insulin shock, hyperosmolar hyperglycemic nonketotic syndrome or diabetic coma.

To help prevent such complications, people are advised to undergo periodic screening for diabetes with glucose tests, especially if they have risk factors.