Diabetes mellitus refers to a group of diseases that affect how your body uses blood sugar glucose. Glucose is vital to your health because it's an important source of energy for the cells that make up your muscles and tissues. It's also your brain's main source of fuel. The underlying cause of diabetes varies by type.
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Diabetes symptoms are not always obvious — and the condition could already be doing damage to your nerves, kidneys and retinas. Here are six subtle symptoms to watch for. High blood sugar can sneak up on you without any obvious symptoms. Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. The telltale signs of type 2 diabetes, such as frequent urination and excessive thirst, are often subtle, especially early on.
Extreme thirst Increased urination can then result in dehydration, which will leave you feeling more thirsty than normal. Unexpected weight loss Along the same lines, if your body is losing sugar in your urine instead of absorbing it, you may lose weight without trying. Other diabetic symptoms in adults include feeling drowsy or lethargic; sudden vision changes; fruity or sweet-smelling breath; heavy or labored breathing; and stupor or unconsciousness. If you do have high blood sugar and it goes untreated, it could develop into diabetic ketoacidosis—a life-threatening condition. So please see your doctor immediately if you are exhibiting these warning signs.
Back to Type 2 diabetes. Many people have type 2 diabetes without realising. This is because symptoms do not necessarily make you feel unwell. Your GP can diagnose diabetes. You'll need a blood test, which you may have to go to your local health centre for if it cannot be done at your GP surgery.