World Diabetes Day: Could you name the 7 subtle signs of the illness?
There are plenty of early clues to indicate that you might have diabetes, but some are so subtle that you might not notice.
It’s been dubbed one of the fastest growing health crises of our time, with more than 3.9 million people estimated to suffer from it in the UK – yet many of us are still in the dark about how to spot the symptoms of diabetes.
In many cases, this serious condition is largely preventable. Yet the number of people diagnosed continues to grow, and here in the UK, figures have more than doubled in the last 20 years, according to analysis by Diabetes UK.
Diabetes is defined as a group of serious, lifelong metabolic disorders that causes a person’s blood sugar level to become too high. There are two main types of diabetes – Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is far more common than Type 1, and the NHS estimates that around 90% of all adults with diabetes have Type 2.
If you’ve been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, it means that your body can’t make any insulin at all. If you’ve got Type 2 diabetes, it’s a bit different: The insulin your body produces either fails to work effectively, or you can’t produce enough of it.
Left untreated, diabetes can lead to a whole host of health complications including amputations, blindness, kidney illness, stroke and heart disease – so it’s really important to read up on the facts.
As today, November 14, marks World Diabetes Day, we outline some of the most common warning signs to look out for…
1. Unexplained weight loss
If you haven’t made any changes to your diet or exercise routine, but you’ve noticed a significant drop in your weight (losing a few pounds here or there is normal), it could be a sign that something isn’t quite right.
In people with diabetes, insufficient insulin prevents the body from getting glucose from the blood into the cells to use as energy, so as an alternative, it burns fat and muscle instead.
2. Recurring thrush
People with diabetes are more likely to suffer from yeast infections because they have more sugar in their bodies. High blood sugar levels are one of the main causes of thrush, along with a weakened immune system, which is also common in people with diabetes.
3. Needing to urinate more frequently
Frequent urination is one of the major signs of both Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes. This irritating symptom usually occurs because sugar builds up in your blood, and your kidneys are forced to work overtime to filter and absorb it. As the kidneys struggle to keep up with the rate of work, the sugar is excreted into your urine, causing you to need the toilet.
4. Feeling thirsty
Noticed you’re in need of a drink more than usual? If you have a thirst you can’t quench, it might be down to diabetes. As the body urinates more frequently to get rid of the excess sugar in your system, it triggers the thirst reflex to help replace the fluid you’re losing.
5. Blurred vision
As well as your kidneys, diabetes can also affect your eyesight too. High levels of blood sugar pull fluid from your tissues, including the lenses of your eyes, which makes it harder for your eyes to focus.
Glucose, along with dehydration, can make you feel really sluggish and groggy, making it difficult for people who suffer from Diabetes to feel energised in the morning. Fatigue is feeling very tired most, or all, of the time.
7. Slow-healing wounds
Research has found a link between high levels of glucose and wounds that are slower to heal. While minor cuts and scrapes are a part of everyday life, they can be more serious for someone with diabetes, as wounds that do not heal well can become infected, leading to serious health issues.
If you have any symptoms of diabetes, there’s no immediate reason to panic, but you should contact your GP and get tested if you’re concerned. It doesn’t necessarily mean you have diabetes, but it’s worth ruling out, as early diagnosis means you can access treatment sooner, which is vital to reduce the chances of developing serious complications.
The Press Association
Latest posts by The Press Association (see all)
- 6 of the weirdest flavour combinations supermarkets are trying for Christmas - December 13, 2018
- How to make Gaz Oakley’s vegan jaffa cakes - December 12, 2018
- This is how men and women experience heart attacks differently - December 11, 2018
- What cooking ingredients can you actually scrimp on? - December 10, 2018
- Uterine cancer is on the rise – do you know the symptoms to look out for? - December 7, 2018
Leave a Comment!
Community Terms & Conditions
These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.
You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.
be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.
Contributions must not:
contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.
Nurturing a safe environment
Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.
We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!