Diabetes is a very common medical condition, and lots of people may be living their daily lives without even knowing they’re affected. Express.co.uk reveals the most common warning signs of diabetes, according to a doctor.
Most diabetes patients have type 2 diabetes, which is where the body struggles to convert sugar into energy.
The body either doesn’t produce enough insulin, or the body doesn’t react to insulin.
Insulin is a type of hormone that’s used to convert blood sugar into energy.
But not everybody easily knows if they’re at risk of the condition, as the symptoms can be very subtle.
Liva Healthcare’s medical director and diabetes expert, Dr Roger Henderson, told Express.co.uk: “Type 2 diabetes is what happens when the body is unable to regulate blood sugar levels. It used to be something we looked out for in people over the age of 45, but now those developing the condition are getting younger and younger.
“Someone is diagnosed with diabetes every two minutes. It’s an epidemic.
“The main culprit is our expanding waistlines. As a nation, we are getting more and more overweight and that puts us at risk.”
However, some of the most common symptoms of diabetes might be easily confused with something less serious.
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“If you’re thirsty all the time, constantly tired, experience blurred vision or have itchy skin, those are the common warning signs.
“Another (more embarrassing) symptom is itchiness around the genitals.
“If you think you may have these symptoms, make sure you see your GP. The sooner you know, the better.”
A doctor could diagnose your diabetes after a quick blood test.
It’s important that your diabetes is diagnosed as soon as possible, because it can lead to a number of health problems.
Some diabetes patients might be more at risk of heart disease or strokes.
Uncontrolled diabetes could also lead to nerve damage, foot problems or vision loss.
The best way to avoid complications is to regularly check your blood sugar levels, and attend your diabetes check-ups.
If you haven’t got diabetes, however, there are a few simple ways you could lower your future risk.
The easiest way is to make some changes to your diet, making sure to eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetable every day.
Being active and doing regular exercise helps to lower your blood sugar levels, subsequently protecting against diabetes.
Everyone should aim to do at least two and a half hours of exercise every week.