There are many signs and symptoms that can indicate diabetes.

Signs and symptoms can include the following:

  • Unusual thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Weight change (gain or loss)
  • Extreme fatigue or lack of energy
  • Blurred vision
  • Frequent or recurring infections
  • Cuts and bruises that are slow to heal
  • Tingling or numbness in the hands or feet
  • Trouble getting or maintaining an erection

If you have any of these symptoms, it is important to contact your health-care provider right away. Even if you don’t have symptoms, if you are 40 or older, you should still get checked.

It is important to recognize, however, that many people who have type 2 diabetes may display no symptoms.

Symptoms of diabetes in children

Diabetes affects children of all ages. Most children who develop diabetes do not have a family history of diabetes.

Symptoms of diabetes in your child could include:

  • Drinking and going to the bathroom more frequently than usual
  • Starting to wet the bed again
  • Lack of energy

If you think your child might have diabetes, see a doctor today.

Diagnosis of diabetes

Speak with your doctor and ask him or her to test you for diabetes using one of the following tests. The amount of glucose (sugar) in your blood is measured in mmol/L.

Fasting blood glucose

You must not eat or drink anything except water for at least eight hours before this test. A test result of 7.0 mmol/L or greater indicates diabetes.

Random blood glucose

This test may be done at any time, regardless of when you last ate. A test result of 11.0 mmol/L or greater, plus symptoms of diabetes, indicates diabetes.

A1C

This test may be done at any time, regardless of when you last ate. A test result of 6.5 % or greater (in adults) and in the absence of factors that affect the accuracy of the A1C indicates diabetes.

Oral glucose tolerance test

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

A second test must be done in all cases (except if you have acute signs and symptoms). Once diabetes has been diagnosed, ask your doctor to refer you for diabetes education. The Canadian Diabetes Association also has many resources to help you understand diabetes better and live a long and healthy life.