Warning Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes

Symptoms of Diabetes. Pictured: young girl drinking from a water bottle

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Knowing the signs and symptoms of diabetes can potentially make a huge difference in your health or the health of someone you love. Too much sugar in your blood for an extended period before diagnosis and treatment can lead to serious health issues. So identifying the symptoms early on can have a huge impact, and knowing what to look for is key.

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month (NDAM). What a perfect time to review diabetes mellitus symptoms and then help spread awareness of this chronic illness to those around you. So share this post with those you love and review the information below.

8 Warning Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes

Main Symptoms of Diabetes

The American Diabetes Association lists several warning signs or common symptoms of diabetes many people notice just before their diagnosis:

  • Frequent urination
  • Extreme thirst
  • Feeling very hungry—even though you are eating
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Blurry vision
  • Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal
  • Unexplained weight loss—even though you are eating more (type 1)
  • Tingling, pain, or numbness in the hands/feet (type 2)

When I was diagnosed at age 12, I was up every night to go to the bathroom. I was drinking a ton of water, yet I was thirsty all the time. I felt tired the majority of the day, but a good night’s sleep didn’t help. And I had lost some weight, too. At 5 foot 3 inches, I weighed only 89 pounds at diagnosis.

Young girl sleeping

Now, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when my mom saw many of these signs. My doctor did a blood test and discovered high blood sugar levels, so that was a definite diagnosis.

But I understand that other main types of diabetes (type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes, pre-diabetes, etc.) can go unnoticed and undetected because these warning signs don’t show up very quickly, or even at all.

What is Diabetes?

In the most basic terms, diabetes is a chronic illness that affects how your body breaks down food to use for energy.

In people without diabetes, their bodies will break down the carbohydrates they eat into basic sugars, which then make their way into the bloodstream. That triggers the release of insulin by the pancreas, which then keeps the amount of glucose in the blood at a normal range.

However, when people with diabetes eat carbohydrates, their bodies starts to break it down into sugars that get into the blood stream like above. But their pancreas either doesn’t produce insulin (type 1) or doesn’t produce enough insulin (type 2) to keep the blood sugar in a normal range.

Type 2 is typically diagnosed in an older population. Type 1 has traditionally been diagnosed more in younger people, but it has recently started shifting to be diagnosed in people of any age.

Can you prevent Diabetes?

With type 1, unfortunately diabetes is not preventable. With this specific diagnosis, the pancreas has simply stopped working properly and there will be a need for insulin in an alternative way (insulin injections, insulin pump, etc.).

However, there are ways type 2 can be prevented. Those who are overweight and/or live a sedentary lifestyle are generally at a higher risk of type 2. Here are a few ideas to lessen the risk factors:

  • maintain appropriate body weight and healthy diet, cut excess sugar
  • stop smoking
  • practice regular exercise and physical activity
  • lower high blood pressure and prevent heart disease

How Many People live with Diabetes?

The American Diabetes Association says more than 37 million people in the United States (approximately 11%) have diabetes, 1.9 million of which have type 1 (including 244,000 children). Also, 1.4 million Americans are newly diagnosed every year.

Crowd of people outside on the street in a city

How is Diabetes Treated?

You will need a treatment plan or medication by your doctor or endocrinologist based on your specific diagnosis. With type 1 diabetes, for example, the pancreas simply isn’t working. So people with type 1 will need to take insulin regularly. For type 2, some lifestyle changes of balanced diet and physical exercise may be a first effort to get high blood glucose levels under control. Medicines may also be helpful to encourage the pancreas to function properly.

What is the Prognosis after Symptoms of Diabetes are Diagnosed?

Thankfully, the long-term prognosis of diabetes is good with proper care. People with diabetes can live a long and healthy life thanks to the invention of insulin in the 1920s (that I write about in my book), and the dramatic increases in technology available to help manage the disease properly. Shortly after diagnosis, you should see the symptoms start to fade away.

There can be complications of diabetes in the case that it isn’t managed well over a long time. Those health problems include diabetic ketoacidosis, kidney disease and kidney failure, nerve damage, heart attack and stroke, diabetic neuropathy, vision loss, poor circulation, foot problems, cardiovascular disease, and more. In case blood sugar levels aren’t kept in control, there is a high risk of complications.

What to do If You have Symptoms of Diabetes

Early detection and treatment of diabetes can decrease the risk of developing complications. So if you find yourself questioning if you have symptoms of type 1 or type 2 diabetes, go to your healthcare provider for medical advice right away. Although no one wants a diagnosis, an early diagnosis can make a positive long term difference!

Diabetes Diagnosis

What are the Symptoms of An UnHealthy Faith?

Now, let’s switch gears. Just like we want to watch for symptoms of illness in our physical bodies, we need to watch for unhealthy symptoms in our spiritual life as well. Here are a few red flags we can watch out for:

  • a disinterest in reading the Bible
  • increasingly infrequent prayer time
  • no longer attending church, small group, or bible study
  • negative or argumentative attitude
  • prioritizing your own desires over others

Much like physical symptoms, these can also come on super gradually and can easily go unnoticed for a while.

Reading the bible with a cup of coffee

Treatment for an Unhealthy Faith

Once you have identified these symptoms, it’s important to take action. Sometimes we fall out of line and need to recalibrate. And our loving Heavenly Father is just waiting for us to turn back to him.

Here are a few practical ways you can improve the health of your faith.

  • Ask for God’s help first and foremost.
  • Spend time in God’s Word each day. (Not sure where to start? Pick a plan here.)
  • Set a timer on your phone to remind you to pray each day. (I need a reminder for almost everything.)
  • Surround yourself with friends to encourage you.
  • Actively participate in church, small group, and/or bible study.
  • Volunteer to serve someone else. (This one always encourages me!)

Healthy Symptoms to Start Looking For

The Apostle Paul actually gives us a list of things to look for in our life when we are walking in step with the Spirit. In Galatians 5, he writes:

Fruit of the Spirit list from Galatians 5

Paul says these are the things we are to see in our life when we walk by the Spirit and deny the pleasures of the flesh.

Do you see this kind of fruit in your life today?
If so, that’s wonderful! If not, it’s ok. After almost 15 years of intentionally walking with God, there is almost always something slipping. But we can realize we are human and give ourselves grace, and we can return to God in any part of our lives at any time.

Lord, I thank You today for Your unending love for me. When I start to slip and fall away, You accept me back. God, I thank You that I have warning signs and symptoms I can see that can act as an alert for me to make an adjustment. I pray Your Holy Spirit would convict me when I start to slip. Help me never to fall far from You, Lord. Amen.

FOR FURTHER READING: Galatians 5:16-26, Luke 15:11-32, John 15:1-7


8 Warning Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes

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Looking for more devotions? Devotions on Diabetes: A 30-Day Journey to Anchor Your Soul is on Amazon

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Kaycee - Devotions on Diabetes


Welcome to my Devotions on Diabetes website! Thanks for stopping by. I've lived with diabetes for 30+ years. And I'm here to provide you with a heaping helping of encouragement while you deal with diabetes and navigate this chronic illness with God by your side.

There are lots of goodies here: devotions, diabetic friendly recipes, Bible reading plans, and more. So grab your favorite (sugar-free) beverage and enjoy your stay.







Devotions on Diabetes: A 30-Day Journey to Anchor Your Soul is now available on Amazon.

Devotions on Diabetes: A 30-Day Journey to Anchor Your Soul by Kaycee Parker




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