The following signs and symptoms may indicate that you have diabetes

  • Excessive thirst, also called polydipsia
  • Frequent urination, also called polyuria
  • Excessive hunger, also called polyphagia
  • Unintentional weight changes (gain or loss)
  • Extreme fatigue or lack of energy
  • Blurred vision
  • Frequent or recurring infections
  • Tingling or numbness in hands and feet
  • Trouble maintaining or getting an erection

Many people with type 2 diabetes may not display any of the symptoms listed above. In fact, people who have diabetes often do not even know that they have it. Other symptoms that indicate that you may have type 2 diabetes may include:

  • Slow-healing sores or cuts
  • Itching of the skin (usually around the vaginal or groin area)
  • Frequent yeast infections
  • Velvety dark skin changes of the neck, armpit, and groin, called acanthosis nigricans

If you are over the age of 40, you should get checked by your family doctor for diabetes even if you do not have any of the above listed symptoms.

Diagnosis of Diabetes

Your doctor is the only one who can diagnose you with diabetes. Some of the following tests are done to diagnose diabetes:

Fasting Blood Glucose

You must not eat or drink anything for at least 8 hours before this blood test. A result of 7.0 mmol/L or higher indicates diabetes.

Random Blood Glucose

This blood test may be done at anytime regardless of when you last ate or drank. A result of 11.1 mmol/L or higher, along with symptoms of diabetes, indicates diabetes.

Hemoglobin A1c

This blood test may be done at anytime regardless of when you last ate or drank. In adults a result higher than 6.5% in the absence of other factors that affect A1c is indicative of diabetes.

Oral Glucose Tolerance Test

You will be given a special sweetened drink prior to this blood test. A result of 11.1 mmol/L or higher two hours after having the drink indicates diabetes.

A second test is usually done to confirm. Once diabetes has been diagnosed, ask your doctor to refer you for diabetes education.