Nov 14, 2017

Do you know the tell-tale signs of type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is a serious condition, the signs and symptoms of which aren’t always obvious; they are generally mild and build up gradually over time. As World Diabetes Day, earlier this week, brought millions of people around the world together to raise awareness of diabetes, we’re taking the opportunity to look more closely at type 2 diabetes and what it means for your long-term health.

In the UK right now, around 90% of people living with diabetes have type 2 diabetes.  And although it generally affects adults, more children are being diagnosed as problems associated with childhood obesity increase.  The good news is that, once diagnosed, it may be possible to manage the condition with a good diet, lots of exercise and by maintaining a healthy weight.  But the emphasis is on obtaining the diagnosis in the first place as this can be crucial to reducing your risk of developing further complications later on.

So what causes type 2 diabetes? 

The condition is basically a result of the blood glucose level in your body being too high, either because your body is not making enough of the hormone called insulin or because the insulin is simply not working properly.  Either way, your body becomes unable to regulate the amount of glucose in your blood, meaning you aren’t able to lower it in the same way as someone without diabetes.

And, although we don’t know the exact reasons for someone developing type 2 diabetes, we do know of some common risk factors that increase the likelihood.  Family history, your age and ethnic background are to name but a few as well as being inactive, becoming overweight and having higher readings than normal for blood pressure or cholesterol.  Individually or on their own, these factors may put you at an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and, the truth is, aside from your genetics, everything else is avoidable.

So if any of these factors are a concern for you, it is important to assess what you can do about them. Simple lifestyle changes could make all the difference.  This said, if you do have any suspicions that you may be pre-diabetic or suffering from type 2 diabetes already, then asking yourself the following questions is a good starting point:

  • Do you have an increased thirst and drink more than you normally would?
  • Are you going to the toilet more often; especially at night?
  • Do you feel hungry and could eat more during the day?
  • Have you experienced a sudden, unexplained weight loss?
  • Are you suffering with fatigue and feel like you have less energy?
  • Has your vision become blurred, affecting your ability to focus?
  • Are you experiencing frequent infections, possibly recurring?
  • Do you have any sores that are taking a long time to heal?
  • Have you noticed any darkened skin, particularly in the folds of your body?

With up to 850,000 adults potentially having type 2 diabetes, and being unaware of it, a trip to your GP is highly recommended if you can answer yes to one or more of the above.  An early diagnosis will not only mean that you can start managing the condition, it will also help to prevent a significant loss of insulin producing cells, meaning you could keep insulin injections at bay for longer. 

Furthermore, if it is left untreated, diabetes can have an effect on some or all of your major organs including your heart, kidneys, blood vessels, nerves and eyes.  So the sooner you start controlling your blood sugar levels, the less likely that these secondary complications will occur.

And with evidence to suggest that more and more children are now being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, parents are being asked to be extra vigilant with lifestyle choices for their children.  It is believed that more than 600 children and teenagers are now being treated for type 2 diabetes; a condition normally only seen in adults aged over 40.  This is an alarming increase of 14 per cent in a year and is largely a result of an increase in childhood obesity.

If you feel you or your children may be at risk of developing type 2 diabetes and would like to know a little more about the signs and symptoms, then register for a free account at today where you can also view hints and tips on energy-boosting recipes and exercise routines… great for at home or in the workplace.


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