The NHS estimates that there are roughly half a million people that have diabetes without being aware of it; left untreated, diabetes can contribute to serious health conditions so it is important to be able to recognise the signs of diabetes. The symptoms of type 1 and type 2 diabetes are similar; however, symptoms of type 1 diabetes develop over a much shorter period of time than those associated with type 2 diabetes (many people with type 2 diabetes are unaware of their condition for a long time before they are diagnosed).

Signs to look out for include:

  • Constantly feeling thirsty and craving water
  • Weight loss
  • Going to the toilet frequently
  • Having blurred or cloudy vision
  • Muscle wastage
  • Itching around the genital areas
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent bouts of thrush
  • Getting infections on a regular basis

Many of these symptoms may be indicative of other conditions but it is always important to get yourself checked over by a doctor; if you notice any of the symptoms listed above arrange to see your GP as quickly as possible.

Guide to Diabetes


Types of diabetes

Causes and risk factors

Living with diabetes

Preventing diabetes

Recognising the symptoms of diabetes

Treating diabetes