Zocdoc Answers

Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"Can you have diabetes without showing any of the symptoms?"

ZocdocAnswersCan you have diabetes without showing any of the symptoms?


I don't have any diabetes symptoms that I can think of but I'm a little overweight and heard overweight people get diabetes. I guess my question is could I have diabetes and not know it because I don't show any of the symptoms?


As you probably know, the symptoms of overt diabetes include blurry vision, dry mouth, excessive appetite, and frequent urination. All of these symptoms are caused by the high sugar levels in the blood. However, the elevation in the blood sugar tends to occur rather gradually over a long period of time, and it is certainly possible to have elevated sugar levels that are high enough to qualify as diabetes or pre-diabetes without being high enough to cause these classic symptoms yet. You are also right that being overweight puts you at greater risk of developing diabetes, as does a family history of diabetes. I suggest that you go see your primary care doctor about this issue. At your annual physical examination, one of the most important things your doctor does is screen you for diabetes, and so if you have not had an annual examination in a while that might be a good place to start. In addition to screening your for diabetes, your doctor can also give you some advice on how you can modify your dietary habits and your exercise patterns to help you lose some weight and decrease your overall lifetime risk of developing diabetes. Good luck!

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.