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Signs & Symptoms of Untreated Diabetes

author image Carole Anne Tomlinson
Carole Anne Tomlinson is a registered nurse with experience in rehabilitation, nutrition, chemical dependency, diabetes and health problems related to the elderly. Tomlinson holds a Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice and is presently working on her master's degree in nursing. Her screenplays have been viewed by Merchant Ivory, Angela Lansbury and Steven King's associates.
Signs & Symptoms of Untreated Diabetes
A mature man drinking a bottle of water outside. Photo Credit firina/iStock/Getty Images


There are two main types of diabetes mellitus--Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 diabetes is when your body is dependent upon injections of insulin to keep you alive. This kind typically starts either at birth or in your childhood years. Type 2 diabetes means you need medications to balance the glucose or sugar in your bloodstream with insulin. There also is gestational diabetes that affects pregnant women, and diabetes insipidus.


If you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes but you have not yet been diagnosed, one of the early warning signs is a dramatic increase in your thirst. This occurs because there is not enough insulin in your body to break down the glucose to make it useful to your body, so much of it flushes straight out. In extreme cases, you may feel as if you cannot possibly quench your thirst, no matter how much you drink. If you notice you are drinking more fluids than usual—and you are not doing strenuous work or exercise—it is possible you are developing diabetes.


With the increase in your consumption of fluids to quench your increased thirstiness, you naturally will need to urinate more frequently. The problem with diabetes is that you will continue to lose most of the fluid you take in through urinating.

Hunger and Weight Loss

Your hunger may rapidly increase if you have diabetes. The reason is the same as for thirstiness: you are not absorbing enough of the nutrition your body needs because there is insufficient insulin to break down and use the glucose. Since you cannot get enough energy from the food you eat, you will experience more hunger. Also because you are not getting enough nutrients from food, you will lose weight despite eating more.

Other Symptoms

Because you are not getting enough from the food you eat, you will lose energy and become fatigued. Since the fluid is being flushed out of your body from all over your body, you may get blurry vision because you eyes do not have enough fluid to allow them to focus correctly. Other symptoms also include an increase in the frequency of infections you get, particularly on the skin or gums, or in the bladder or vagina. Any wounds you get also may be slow to heal.

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