Type 1 Diabetes (IDDM) – SYMPTOMS

  • Increased urination : While excess glucose is being eliminated from the blood through the kidneys, water and salts also get excreted along with it, leading to increased urination. The discomfort becomes more prominent during the night. In children, it may manifest as bedwetting.
  • Increased thirst: Excessive loss of water and salt due to increased urination causes increased thirst.


  • Constant hunger: Glucose is unable to enter the cells due to the absence of insulin and the cells remain starved despite the presence of high levels of glucose in the blood.
  • Blurred vision: This occurs because the fluid surrounding the lens has higher glucose levels (Hyperosmolar fluids). The symptom usually rectifies by itself once the blood glucose levels are normalised.


  • Weight loss: Since the cells are unable to utilize its normal source of energy i.e. glucose,  alternate sources like fats and finally proteins are utilized for the energy requirements of the cells. This causes a depletion in the fat reserves and muscle mass of the body leading to weight loss.


  • Weakness and fatigue : Excessive loss of water, salts and vital electrolytes leads to a state of dehydration causing weakness and fatigue. This situation is further worsened by the loss of fat reserves and muscle mass.
  • Numbness / Tingling : Numbness/tingling is usually experienced when consistently high levels of glucose in the blood damages the nerves.
  • Mood changes : The normal lifestyle of a person is disrupted by the presence of diabetes symptoms causing mood changes.
  • Vomiting : Excessive utilization of fat reserves in the body as an energy source leads to the formation of fatty acids. These may be further converted to ketones. The presence of ketones in the blood triggers nausea and vomiting.
  • Sweet breath : Ketones have a sweet and fruity smell similar to the smell of a nail polish remover. The presence of ketones in the blood lends this character to the breath.
  • Rapid Breathing: The accumulation of ketoacids in the blood makes the blood acidic. This in turn stimulates the respiratory center in the brain causing deep and rapid breathing, giving the patient’s breathing a ‘gasping’ quality.
  • Loss of Consciousness : It occurs due to loss of water, vital electrolytes and accumulation of high levels of ketoacids in the blood.