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Symptoms of high blood glucose

How do I know if I might be diabetic?

People who think they might have diabetes must visit a physician for diagnosis. They might have some – or none – of the following symptoms:

  • Frequent urination
  • Excessive thirst
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Extreme hunger
  • Sudden vision changes
  • Tingling or numbness in hands or feet
  • Feeling very tired much of the time
  • Very dry skin
  • Sores that are slow to heal
  • Frequent infections (including yeast)

The symptoms of high blood glucose, or hyperglycemia, are mostly the same for type 1 and type 2 diabetes. In type 2 they occur more gradually and are often mistaken for other problems.

Type 1s may also experience:

  • Rapid weight loss 
  • Nausea, vomiting, belly pain 
  • Ketones in the urine 
  • Fruity breath odor; heavy breathing

Most symptoms of high blood glucose usually don’t occur until glucose levels reach 300-400 mg/dl. Because silent damage leading to complications starts occurring when blood glucose levels are lower than that, do not count on symptoms to tell you when your diabetes needs improved management. Regular self-testing with your glucose meter plus having your A1C tested by your doctor every three months will provide the best information as to when treatment changes are necessary.

It is important for people with type 1 diabetes to check their urine for ketones if their blood glucose is over 250 mg and a physician should be called if ketones measure high. Depending upon the severity, hospitalization may be necessary, or additional insulin can be prescribed to prevent diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).