HHC - Diabetes Care Center
    Email a Friend Translate this Page Small Font Medium Font Large Font

Sign up Today
Know Your Danger Zones

What are the symptoms of diabetes?

There are over 700,000 New Yorkers who have diabetes - almost a third don't know that they have it. Why are so many people unaware that they have diabetes? One major reason is the absence of symptoms among people with both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

Hyperglycemia (High Blood Glucose) and Hypoglycemia (Low Blood Glucose) are symptoms of diabetes. Below are signs and symptoms that are associated with both conditions:

Signs and Symptoms of Hyperglycemia: High Blood Glucose (Sugar)

  • Frequent urination
  • Excessive thirst and appetite
  • Weight loss or gain, without trying
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Blurry vision
  • In women, frequent vaginal infections
  • In men and women, yeast infections
  • Dry mouth
  • Irritability
  • Slow-healing sores or cuts
  • Dry or itchy skin
  • Tingling or numbness in your hands, legs or feet

Signs and Symptoms of Hypoglycemia: Low Blood Glucose (Sugar)

  • Headache
  • Sweating
  • Impaired vision
  • Dizziness
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Hunger
  • Shakiness
  • Irritability, anxiety or moodiness
  • Confusion or difficulty paying attention
  • Pale skin color
  • Tingling sensation around the mouth
  • Weakness or fatigue

How do I treat hypoglycemia?

Once you've checked your blood glucose and it is low, treat your hypoglycemia. The quickest way to raise your blood glucose and treat hypoglycemia is with some form of sugar, such as 3 glucose tablets (you can buy these at the drug store), 1/2 cup of fruit juice, or 5-6 pieces of hard candy. Ask your health care professional or dietitian to list foods that you can use to treat low blood glucose. Then be sure you always have at least one type of sugar with you.

Wait 15 or 20 minutes and check your blood glucose again. If your blood glucose is still low and your symptoms of hypoglycemia don't go away, repeat the treatment. After you feel better, be sure to eat your regular meals and snacks as planned to keep your blood glucose level up.

Notify your doctor immediately of any episodes of hypoglycemia. They can be dangerous.

What if hypoglycemia goes untreated?

It's important to treat hypoglycemia quickly because hypoglycemia can get worse and you could pass out. If you pass out, you will need immediate treatment, such as an injection of glucagon or emergency treatment in a hospital.

If you are already diagnosed with diabetes and require better control, you should see your doctor at least every three (3) months or more frequently, if you need to. Poorly controlled diabetes increases your risk of a heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, blindness and amputations.

Online Diabetes Risk Test

If you know someone with any of the above symptoms, they should contact a Diabetes Care Center right away. Find out if someone you know is at-risk of diabetes by taking the Online Diabetes Risk Test from the American Diabetes Association.

Accu-Check Aviva Meter
Take our Diabetes IQ Test
Downloadable Forms
Quick Links
Fight Diabetes
Control Stress
Know Your ABCs
Know Your Medications