It can take up to a few months for type 1 diabetes to reveal itself and up to a few years for type 2, on average. As a result, being aware of any symptoms is critical to seeking medical help and treating the disease as soon as possible. 


According to The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, signs of this condition include: 

  • Increased thirst and urination 
  • Increased hunger
  • Blurred vision
  • Fatigue
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Feeling tired
  • Numbness or tingling in the feet or hands
  • Sores that do not heal


What are the early signs of diabetes? 

Signs of type 1 can also indicate a life-threatening condition called diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). Symptoms of DKA include:

  • breath that smells fruity,
  • dry or flushed skin,
  • nausea or vomiting,
  • stomach pain,
  • trouble breathing,
  • trouble paying attention, and
  • feeling confused.  

What are the three most common symptoms of undiagnosed diabetes? 

All of the symptoms of diabetes can present themselves to people with the condition. That being said, there are 3 major warning signs of this condition, often known as the “three polys.” They are:

  1. Polyuria (greater need to urinate more frequently than usual)
  2. Polydipsia (being thirstier than usual)
  3. Polyphagia (being hungrier than usual)

How does diabetes make you feel? 

A person with diabetes may feel extremely hungry, tired, experience blurred vision, and notice numbness in the feet and hands, among other symptoms. 

Can diabetes come on suddenly? 

Type 1 diabetes can come on in just a few weeks or months in some cases. However, in others, it can take months or even years before symptoms reveal themselves and then can quickly become severe. Symptoms of type 2 diabetes often develop over several years.

Disclaimer: this article does not constitute or replace medical advice. If you have an emergency or a serious medical question, please contact a medical professional or call 911 immediately. To see our full medical disclaimer, visit our Terms of Use page.

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