Type 2 diabetes can be a 'devastating diagnosis' says expert
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Diabetes is a serious and life-altering condition that causes your blood sugar levels to become too high. There are two forms of diabetes – type 1 and type 2. While the cause of type 1 is not yet known, type 2 is commonly linked to factors such as being overweight and not exercising enough.
As with any medical condition, the sooner you spot the symptoms the sooner you can seek help.
Navin Khosla, medical writer at NiceRx, spoke with Express.co.uk about five early warning signs of diabetes.
“The main symptoms surrounding diabetes are a result of an imbalance between insulin and glucose levels which ultimately leads to uncomfortable symptoms that can disrupt your day-to-day life,” he said.
“The most telling signs are increased thirst and hunger alongside tiredness and excessive urination – these can often result in tingling sensations in your hands and feet and also blurred vision.
“It is important to note that these symptoms may not be caused by diabetes, however, it is best to contact your GP and request a blood test if these symptoms persist and continue to disrupt your quality of life and sleep.”
One such symptom, according to Mr Khosla, is xerosis – or dry skin.
He explained: “Excessive urination can lead to less moisture in other areas of the body such as the mouth and skin.
“This can result in discomfort, increased thirst and itchy skin.
“These can also be caused by other factors, however, it is important to visit your GP if you have concerns surrounding these symptoms.”
He shared the other early signs below.
Hunger and fatigue
Your body needs glucose for energy, but to convert it to energy, your cells need insulin to absorb it.
Diabetes is linked to low insulin levels, therefore if your body doesn’t make enough insulin it can’t absorb enough glucose for energy, which leads to fatigue.
This waste of glucose and low energy can also result in increased hunger.
Thirst and excessive urination
If your body is struggling to absorb the excess glucose in your system, your kidneys will have to flush it out – resulting in excessive trips to the toilet.
The average person will go to the toilet four to seven times in 24 hours, so if you find yourself exceeding this significantly, it could be worth looking into the cause.
With excessive urination comes increased thirst, which can also play a part in more trips to the bathroom.
The increased glucose levels in the blood, alongside fluctuating fluid levels in the body, can result in swelling of the eye’s lens, which causes blurred vision.
If you find your vision becoming blurry at certain points in the day, possibly after eating or drinking something high in sugar, you might want to contact your GP.
Pins and needles
The increased glucose levels in the blood can damage nerve endings which can result in tingling and numbness in the feet and hands.
If you constantly find yourself waking up with pins and needles, this could be the cause.
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