'Sneaky' diabetes sign in your eyes that you shouldn't be ignoring

Woman rubbing her eyes in a park.
High blood sugar from diabetes impairs the body's immune system -Credit:Getty

Health experts say there are several lesser-known symptoms of diabetes people are ignoring that it's wise to watch out for.

Data shows that around 850,000 Brits could be living with the disease without being diagnosed and this may be due to the more unusual signs that people may struggle to recognise, reports the Mirror. The chronic illness, which sees the body fail to produce enough insulin or struggle to use insulin properly, causes the body to have too much glucose in the blood.

Whilst many people have learned how to cope with the condition, some others may have a tougher time trying to maintain a healthy blood sugar level. According to Diabetes UK, more than 4.3million people in the UK have diabetes, with almost a quarter unknowingly living with the condition.

There are many signs that you have diabetes, such as feeling tired or weak - but there are also more unique symptoms that you may not notice such as strange breath or a change to skin. Here are some you may have missed with some important advice offered if you're concerned that you may have the condition.

Blurred vision

Experts are sounding the alarm that changes in your vision could be a red flag for diabetes. Fluctuating blood sugar levels can mess with the fluid in your eyes, leading to symptoms like blurry sight, difficulty focusing, or puffiness around the peepers.

"People think they need to change their glasses, but actually it may be a sign of diabetes," warns Mandeep Bajaj, M. D, a professor at Baylor College of Medicine and head of endocrinology at Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center.

Yeast infections

Yeast infections are another tell-tale sign, particularly in women. These uncomfortable infections might signal undiagnosed diabetes, as high blood sugar creates an environment where yeast thrives.

Dr Mark Guido of Novant Health Forsyth Endocrine Consultants advises that recurring infections should prompt diabetes screening.

Sexual dysfunction

Sexual dysfunction.
Could problems in the bedroom bring another concern? -Credit:Getty

For men, type 2 diabetes could spell trouble in the bedroom. Erectile dysfunction is a known warning sign, as elevated blood sugar can damage nerves and blood vessels, hindering blood flow to the penis.

Women aren't immune to sexual complications from diabetes either; they may experience reduced arousal and lubrication issues.

Mood swings

Mood swings, too, can be symptomatic of diabetes, adding to the list of potential indicators.

Another symptom of undiagnosed diabetes can be a shift in your mood, such as feeling more irritable than usual. These mood swings could be due to sudden changes in blood sugar levels, which can occur with both low and above normal blood sugar levels.

However, this irritability is said to be temporary, with emotions expected to return to normal once your levels stabilise.


Another sign that you may have diabetes is a sudden sensation of itching or skin peeling, particularly on your hands and feet. Undiagnosed patients could have damaged nerve fibres resulting in itching.

Additionally, if you have blood vessel damage, there could be reduced circulation in your limbs.

Dry mouth

While many people experience dry mouth occasionally, it has also been identified as a key symptom of diabetes. This is due to high blood sugar levels.

Anyone can suffer from dry mouth, but it tends to affect those with diabetes because high blood sugar reduces saliva flow. Insufficient saliva in the mouth can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.

Interestingly, dry mouth may persist even after a diabetes diagnosis, as it is a side effect of some medications used to treat the condition.

Weight loss

A sudden decrease in body weight could be a sign that your body is having difficulty producing or utilising insulin correctly. When this occurs, your cells can't access the glucose they need for energy, leading to weight loss as your body starts burning fat and muscle mass for fuel instead.