Type 2 diabetes symptoms: Doctor reveals the three key signs to spot the condition
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If you’re not sure if you have diabetes or not, there are certain questions you need to ask yourself. Left undiagnosed, type 2 diabetes can have severe consequences.
Starring on ITV’s This Morning, speaking to co-hosts Holly Willoughby and Philip Schofield, Dr Nighat Arif discusses diabetes.
Dr Arif explained the condition tends to occur in older people, yet it’s increasingly seen in younger people nowadays.
The condition means there’s “too much sugar in the bloodstream”, and there are three questions you need to ask yourself:
- Are you drinking more?
- Are you peeing more?
- Are you thirsty?
If the answer to all of the above questions is a yes, it’s likely you have type 2 diabetes.
This can be confirmed by a simple blood test, known as HbA1c, which can be ordered by your doctor.
If the results show above 45mmol/L, then it’s advisable to engage in lifestyle modifications.
Even if levels are below 45mmol/L, type 2 diabetes is a “preventable and reversible” condition.
“It’s never too late to make a change,” asserted Dr Arif; she recommended incorporating “little bits of movement” into your everyday life.
The two factors that can prevent or reverse type 2 diabetes are diet and exercise.
“Look at portion sizes too,” added Dr Arif. If you have a family history, you’re obese or you eat too much sugar, your health is at risk.
Dr Arif warns of the complications of having high blood sugar levels, whereby the “blood vessels become affected”.
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Type 2 diabetes “affects the whole body” – the eyes, heart, kidneys and tiny blood vessels in your feet.
Known as neuropathy, high blood sugar levels can cause nerve damage, which can mean foot issues go unnoticed.
This is because you may lose the ability to feel pain in your feet, so infections aren’t detected.
Chronic infections in the feet can cause amputations – a realistic consequence of high blood sugar levels over an extended period of time.
“For some people, type 2 diabetes is a devastating diagnosis,” continued Dr Arif.
“If blood sugar isn’t controlled, a person might need insulin, and it could affect their livelihood.”
Referencing the charity Diabetes UK, the doctor added that people with the condition may be more susceptible to complications if they catch COVID-19.
This is because sugar is needed to fight infections, yet the body can become ill when blood sugar levels aren’t controlled.
People with diabetes struggle to keep their blood sugar levels under control, so they’re more prone to illness if they have COVID-19.
Dr Arif recommends diabetics to wear a face mask, to wash their hands and to perform social distancing.
Moreover, people with type 2 diabetes are encouraged to take up the flu vaccine.
If you fear you might have diabetes, discuss your symptoms with your GP.
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