Symptoms of type 1 diabetes are caused by the buildup of glucose in the blood where it cannot be used by cells for energy. Problems may be:

  • Urinating often
  • Being very thirsty or hungry
  • Feeling very tired and weak
  • Blurry vision
  • Losing weight without trying
  • Belly pain

Severe symptoms can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis. This is when glucose levels rise and the body starts to break down fat to use as energy instead. This makes a by-product called ketone bodies. They are made up of acids that can build up in the body and cause these additional type 1 diabetes symptoms:

  • Problems breathing
  • Belly pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Fruity breath odor
  • Dry skin and mouth

This problem can be deadly and must be treated right away.


American Diabetes Association. Standards of medical care in diabetes-2019. Diabetes Care. 2019. Jan; 42 (Suppl 1):S1-193.

Diabetes mellitus type 1. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Updated June 28, 2019. Accessed November 22, 2019.

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Updated August 23, 2017. Accessed December 12, 2019.

Type 1 diabetes. American Diabetes Association website. Available at: Accessed November 22, 2019.

Last reviewed September 2019 by EBSCO Medical Review Board James P. Cornell, MD