Reviewed by Dr. Rose Lin

Diabetes is a chronic condition that causes sugar levels in the body to rise. Ignoring the early symptoms of diabetes can lead to more serious health complications, so it is important to be aware of the early warning signs and symptoms. If left untreated, diabetes can lead to heart disease, stroke, nerve and kidney damage, vision loss and more. If you are diagnosed with diabetes, know that you have options and with proper treatment you will still be able to live your best life. In this blog, we will discuss the early warning signs you should be familiar with and when to contact a physician. 

At Saint John’s Physician Partners, we provide world renowned expert care for the diagnosis and treatment of diabetes. Contact us to schedule an appointment or call 833-474-0608 and someone will be happy to assist you. 

What Are The Early Symptoms of Diabetes?

The early symptoms of diabetes can be subtle yet crucial indicators of an underlying health condition that demands attention. Diabetes is a metabolic disorder characterized by elevated levels of blood glucose, and its onset is often accompanied by a spectrum of initial signs that may go unnoticed or be attributed to other factors. Recognizing these early symptoms is pivotal for early intervention and effective management of the condition. From increased thirst and frequent urination to unexplained weight loss and persistent fatigue, understanding the subtle cues of diabetes is essential for individuals and healthcare professionals alike. This paragraph will delve into these early warning signs, shedding light on their significance in identifying diabetes in its nascent stages.

Frequent urination

Going to the bathroom more than normal, especially at night, is a sign of high blood sugar. Diabetes causes the kidneys to work harder to remove excess sugar from your blood. 

Excessive thirst

Frequent urination can cause dehydration, leaving you feeling thirsty all the time. 

Constant hunger

Your body converts food into glucose and if you have diabetes, the cells do not absorb it correctly. Therefore, you don’t get enough energy from food and your body is constantly looking for fuel, leaving you hungry all the time.

Unexplained weight loss

If your body can’t get enough energy from your food, it will start burning muscle and fat stores instead. 


Without enough fuel for energy, you are left with persistent fatigue and weakness. 

Blurry vision

High blood sugar can damage the blood vessels in your eyes and you may experience blurry vision in one or both eyes. 

Tingling or numbness

Poor circulation and nerve damage can cause numbness, tingling or pain in your hands or feet. 

Repeat infections

Excess sugar in your urine serves as food for yeast and bacteria. Some people, especially women, may experience frequent urinary tract or yeast infections. 

Types of Diabetes 

Diabetes manifests in various forms, each presenting distinct challenges and considerations for those affected. Understanding the types of diabetes is crucial for tailoring effective treatment strategies and promoting optimal health outcomes.

Type 1 Diabetes 

Once known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, Type 1 diabetes is a chronic condition in which the pancreas makes little or no insulin. Insulin is the hormone your body uses to allow sugar to enter cells to produce  energy. Genetics and some viruses may cause Type 1 diabetes and while it often appears during childhood or adolescence, it can also develop in adults. Even after a lot of research, there is no cure for Type 1 diabetes. Treatment is aimed at managing the amount of sugar in the blood using insulin, diet and lifestyle to prevent complications. 

Type 2 Diabetes

The most common type of diabetes caused by several factors, including lifestyle factors and genes. You are more likely to develop Type 2 if you are not physically active or are overweight. Extra weight can cause insulin resistance which is common in people with Type 2 diabetes and is usually how it begins. Insulin resistance is when your muscles, liver and fat cells do not use insulin well. At first, your pancreas will make more to keep up, but over time, it cannot make enough to keep up and then blood sugar levels rise. Genes play a factor in developing Type 2, as it tends to run in families. 

Gestational Diabetes

A common medical condition that occurs in some pregnant women. Usually hormones keep blood sugar levels stable, but sometimes those hormones change during pregnancy causing blood sugar to rise. The high blood sugar can affect your pregnancy and your baby’s health. If diagnosed with gestational diabetes, your blood sugar levels should return to normal after delivery. However, you may then be tested for diabetes more often. 

What to do if you notice you have early symptoms of diabetes?

If you notice you are having symptoms of diabetes, it is important to schedule a consultation with a physician for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. To diagnose diabetes, your doctor will test your glucose levels or administer a blood test to check your A1c levels. 

If you are diagnosed with diabetes, your physician will help you manage your blood sugar and find ways for you to eat well and be active. Managing your blood sugar early can help prevent or delay serious health complications associated with diabetes. 

Managing your diabetes to improve your health 

Managing your diabetes requires awareness, knowing what makes your blood sugar levels rise and fall and having the knowledge to control these factors. 


Learn about carbohydrate counting and portion sizes. A key to many diabetes management plans is learning how to count carbohydrates. For people taking mealtime insulin, it’s important to know the amount of carbohydrates in your food, so you calculate the proper insulin dose. 


Physical activity is an important part of your diabetes management plan. When you exercise, your muscles use sugar for energy. Regular physical activity also helps your body use insulin more efficiently. These factors work together to lower your blood sugar level. 


Designed to lower your blood sugar levels when diet and exercise are not enough, but the effectiveness depends on the timing and size of the dose. 


Alcohol can lower your blood sugar shortly after you drink it and it could last for as long as 24 hours. 


The hormones your body produces when stressed may cause a rise in blood sugar levels. 

Schedule an appointment to discuss early diabetes symptoms 

The more you know about factors that influence your blood sugar level, the more you can anticipate changes and plan accordingly. Our physicians at Saint John’s Physician Partners are here to work with you to create a personalized treatment plan. If you are experiencing any of the early symptoms of diabetes, contact us today to schedule a consultation. Use the following link to find a physician, Contact us to schedule an appointment or call 833-474-0608 and someone will be happy to assist you.

Rose Lin MD

About Dr. Rose Lin

Rose H. Lin, MD is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism. She has been practicing for over 18 years and has worked in the San Fernando Valley for the past 10 years. She also recently established a practice in Santa Monica to better serve the community in which she lives, and she was delighted to join The Doctors of Saint John’s in April 2020.