There are 3.9 million people living with diabetes in the UK. A report by Diabetes UK estimates that 1 in 16 people have either diagnosed or undiagnosed diabetes. But what are the 10 early warning signs of high blood sugar to watch out for?
Diabetes is a chronic health condition where your body cannot regulate your levels of blood sugar.
There are two main types of diabetes. These are:
Type 1 diabetes – When your body’s immune system attacks the cells that produce insulin. This is not typically linked to your age or weight, and type 1 diabetics will need insulin injections.
Type 2 diabetes – When the body does not produce enough insulin, or your cells do not react to insulin. This is a progressive condition and can be managed with adopting healthier lifestyle habits.
Type 2 diabetes is far more common than type 1 diabetes. In the UK around 90 percent of diabetics have type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes can have many different symptoms and it’s not always easy to know what to look out for. If you suspect that you could have diabetes it is important to get diagnosed quickly and start receiving medical treatment.
Diabetes can have serious health consequences if left untreated.
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Diabetes – spot the warning signs
High levels of glucose in your bloodstream can cause a number of symptoms, according to medical website NiceRx, including these early symptoms of diabetes:
Tiredness – as a result of your cells absorbing less glucose, you can feel sluggish.
Hunger – again as your cells have less glucose, they send you hunger signals.
Frequent urination – as your kidneys try to filter the excess glucose, you may be urinating more often.
Thirst and dehydration – as a result of the frequent urinating, you may be unusually thirsty and have patches of dry skin.
Blurred vision – another consequence of dehydration is blurred vision.
Yeast infections – the excess glucose can make both men and women more susceptible to yeast infections.
Cuts that don’t heal – Slow-healing cuts and sores can be an early sign of diabetes, as the nerve damage slows how your body heals.
What are the warning signs for type 2 diabetes?
Tingling or numbness in your hands and feet – type 2 diabetes can damage your nerves and your circulation. Pain, tingling and numbness can be a result of nerve damage or poor circulation.
Areas of darker skin – You can develop a condition named acanthosis nigricans which causes areas of darker, velvety skin, particularly around the armpits, groin and neck.
Erectile dysfunction – Men may experience erectile dysfunction for the first time, or more often, as a result of the circulation and nerve issues that accompany type 2 diabetes.
If you suspect that you might have diabetes, don’t delay in making an appointment with your doctor to discuss your symptoms.
Getting treatment for type 1 diabetes can help you to manage the condition better. With careful management, type 2 diabetes can also be controlled and even go into remisssion.
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