How to Know if You Have Diabetes

Medically Reviewed by:Scientific Advisory Board

We all know that our health is something we can't afford to take lightly. But sometimes, the signs of serious conditions like diabetes can be difficult to recognize. Are you concerned about potentially having diabetes? If so, keep reading. We'll guide you on how to identify the early signs and symptoms of this condition.

It's essential to understand that diabetes is not always accompanied by noticeable symptoms. However, some common indicators might suggest you need to get checked out by a doctor. These could include frequent urination, unquenchable thirst, constant fatigue among others.

Remember, even if these symptoms are absent or mild, it doesn't necessarily rule out diabetes. Regular check-ups are crucial for early detection and managing potential risks associated with this chronic disease effectively. We're here to help you navigate through this journey and ensure your wellness remains a top priority.

Understanding Diabetes: An Overview

Let's start with a simple truth: Diabetes is a chronic health condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It's critical to understand what it is and how it works. In essence, diabetes disrupts the way our bodies convert food into energy.

Normally, we consume food, break it down into sugars (glucose), which then gets released into our bloodstream. At this stage, our pancreas produces insulin that allows glucose to enter our cells and serve as fuel for energy. But if you're living with diabetes, this system doesn't work effectively.

There are primarily two types of diabetes:

  • Type 1 Diabetes: This is an autoimmune condition where your body doesn't produce insulin at all. It usually develops in children or young adults but can occur at any age.

  • Type 2 Diabetes: Here, your body either resists the effects of insulin or doesn't produce enough insulin to maintain normal glucose levels. This type is more common and generally develops in middle-aged or older people.

A rarer form is Gestational diabetes, occurring during pregnancy but typically resolving after birth.

Recognizing the symptoms early on can be life-saving since untreated diabetes could lead to serious complications like heart disease, stroke, kidney damage, eye problems among others.

Common signs include excessive thirst and urination, unexplained weight loss despite eating more (type 1), feeling hungry even after meals (type 2), blurred vision and slow healing of sores or cuts.

It's important not to self-diagnose based on these symptoms alone because other conditions could present similarly. We recommend consulting healthcare professionals who will administer tests such as Fasting Plasma Glucose Test (FPG) or Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT) for accurate diagnosis.

Ultimately understanding diabetes involves recognizing its signs early on and seeking appropriate medical attention promptly. With today’s advancements in technology like continuous glucose monitors, managing your diabetes can become a less daunting task.

Key Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes

Recognizing the signs of diabetes can be a lifesaver. It's crucial to understand these indicators, as early detection can make all the difference in managing this condition effectively.

First off, excessive thirst or polydipsia is one telling symptom. If you're constantly reaching for a water bottle despite drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day, it might be time to reach out to your doctor.

Another sign that shouldn't be ignored is frequent urination or polyuria. When there's too much glucose in your bloodstream, your kidneys work overtime to get rid of it, leading to frequent trips to the bathroom.

Unexplained weight loss is another red flag. Even if you've been following the same diet and exercise routine, sudden weight loss could indicate that your body isn't efficiently processing sugars from food due to lack of insulin.

You may also notice an increase in hunger, known as polyphagia. This happens because without enough insulin, glucose isn't able to enter cells for energy leaving you feeling hungry even after eating.

Additionally, diabetes often causes fatigue or tiredness due its inability properly utilize glucose for energy.

A key symptom specific to type 1 diabetes includes nausea and vomiting which results from buildup of dangerous chemicals called ketones in your blood when body burns fat instead of glucose for energy.

Lastly, blurry vision can occur when high blood sugar levels cause swelling in lens inside eye disrupting ability focus clearly.



Excessive Thirst

Constant need for water despite regular intake

Frequent Urination

Needing bathroom breaks more often than usual

Unexplained Weight Loss

Losing weight without any changes in diet/exercise

Increased Hunger

Feeling hungry even after meals

Fatigue or Tiredness

Lack of energy due presence less usable glucose

Blurry Vision

Distorted sight caused by swelling lens inside eye

These are just some signs and symptoms but remember each individual may experience differently so always consult with healthcare professional if experiencing any unusual changes health status.

Medical Tests for Diabetes Diagnosis

Having diabetes can be a life-altering diagnosis, but it's a condition that we can manage with the right knowledge and care. Let's delve into the different medical tests available to confirm if you're living with this chronic illness.

The first test we'll discuss is the Fasting Plasma Glucose (FPG) test. This test checks your blood sugar levels after you've fasted for at least eight hours, typically overnight. High fasting glucose levels could indicate diabetes.

Fasting Plasma Glucose Test



Less than 100 mg/dl


100-125 mg/dl


Higher than 126 mg/dl

Another common diagnostic tool is the Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT). After fasting, you'll consume a sugary drink and have your blood sugar checked two hours later. It helps doctors understand how your body processes glucose.

Oral Glucose Tolerance Test



Less than 140 mg/dl


140-199 mg/dl


Higher than 200 mg/dl

Next on our list is the Random Plasma Glucose (RPG) Test. Unlike other tests, there's no need to fast before taking it; hence, it's often used in emergency situations when diabetes symptoms are present.

Lastly, doctors may request an A1C test, which measures your average blood sugar level over the past two to three months by looking at how much glucose attaches to hemoglobin in red blood cells.

  • Normal: Below 5.7%

  • Prediabetes: Between 5.7% -6.4%

  • Diabetes: Above or equal to 6.5%

These tests provide crucial insights into our body’s ability to process glucose and help us take charge of our health promptly if diagnosed with diabetes.

Conclusion: Being Proactive About Your Health

We've reached the end of our discussion, but this is just the beginning of your proactive health journey. Remember, knowledge is power - especially when dealing with something as serious as diabetes.

Being vigilant about your health is a must. Keep a close eye on any changes in your body and don't hesitate to consult with healthcare professionals if you notice any potential signs of diabetes. Here are some key takeaways from our discussion:

Remember, everyone's experience with diabetes is different. What works for one person might not work for another. So it's essential to create a personalized plan that caters to your unique needs.

Finally, let's make sure we all understand that being proactive about our health doesn't mean living in constant fear or stress about possible illnesses. Instead, it's all about making conscious choices each day that steer us towards wellness while staying informed and aware.

Thank you for joining us on this informative journey. Let’s continue taking strides towards better health together.

References, Studies and Sources:

More About and Healthcare disclaimer:

Always consult your physician before beginning any program. This general information is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional. If you experience any pain or difficulty, stop and consult your healthcare provider. socks are clinically proven to improve micro-circulation in feet and lower extremities in people with Diabetes. 

More Author Information:

Dr. Capozzi is a board-certified foot surgeon through the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery. He is a Diplomate of the American Academy of Wound Management and Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. He completed a three-year residency program in Foot and Ankle Reconstructive Surgery at St. Francis Hospital & Medical Center in Hartford, CT in 2010. Dr. Capozzi is a board-certified Wound Specialist® granted by the American Academy of Wound Management. He is also board-certified in Foot Surgery through the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery.