by EBSCO Medical Review Board

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

  • Urinating (peeing) 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 breaking 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. This can cause other type 1 diabetes symptoms:

  • Problems breathing
  • Belly pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Breath that smells fruity
  • 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; 42 (Suppl 1): S1-193.

Diabetes mellitus type 1. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Accessed May 5, 2022.

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Accessed May 5, 2022.

Type 1 diabetes. American Diabetes Association website. Available at: Accessed May 5, 2022.

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board James P. Cornell, MD
  • Review Date: 03/2022
  • Update Date: 05/05/2022