What symptoms suggest diabetes mellitus (DM)?

Updated: Oct 23, 2019
  • Author: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP; Chief Editor: George T Griffing, MD  more...
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Answer

The diagnosis of diabetes mellitus is readily entertained when a patient presents with classic symptoms (ie, polyuria, polydipsia, polyphagia, weight loss). Other symptoms that may suggest hyperglycemia include blurred vision, lower extremity paresthesias, or yeast infections, particularly balanitis in men. However, many patients with type 2 diabetes are asymptomatic, and their disease remains undiagnosed for many years.

In older studies, the typical patient with type 2 diabetes had diabetes for at least 4-7 years at the time of diagnosis. [99] Among patients with type 2 diabetes in the United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study, 25% had retinopathy; 9%, neuropathy; and 8%, nephropathy at the time of diagnosis. (For more information, see Diabetic Neuropathy.)


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