This Morning: Type 2 diabetes can be ‘devastating’ says expert
Symptoms of type 2 diabetes develop gradually, and so the subtle changes may be overlooked. With each passing day the condition isn’t addressed, more damage is being done to your body. Watch out for polyuria. Polyuria is one of three classic warning signs of type 2 diabetes, said the charity Diabetes UK. It’s a medical term for frequent urination, which includes passing large amounts of urine each time you go.
If you’re concerned that you may have the condition, it’s worth noting down how often you use the toilet every day.
The second classic warning sign of type 2 diabetes is polydipsia – often described as an unquenchable thirst.
This means that no matter how much you drink, you still feel thirsty all of the time.
The third sign is polyphagia, which means you’ve got an increased appetite that isn’t satisfied by eating.
Alongside the classic triad of symptoms, there are other clues that you may have type 2 diabetes; these are:
- Weight loss
- Blurred vision
- Slow healing
- Genital itching
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To better understand why the body responds in this way to type 2 diabetes, it’s helpful to know what exactly is happening inside of the body.
When the body’s cells becomes resistant to insulin – a hormone produced by the pancreas (an organ) – they’re unable to take in glucose as fuel.
Glucose is a type of sugar you get from the foods you eat; in healthy individuals the food you eat helps provides energy.
Insulin resistance causes the glucose to build up in the bloodstream instead of being taken in by the body’s cells.
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Too much glucose in the blood is known as hyperglycaemia, explained the NHS.
The potentially dangerous side effect of type 2 diabetes can cause “life-threatening complications”.
Hyperglycaemia can “result in permanent damage to… the eyes, nerves, kidneys and blood vessels”.
When there’s too much glucose (i.e. sugar) in the bloodstream, the body tries to get rid off the excess.
The kidneys try to remove excess sugar in the bloodstream via urine, which explains why polyuria occurs as a warning sign of type 2 diabetes.
Alongside the need to urinate more often, the body then becomes more dehydrated.
This explains why polydipsia occurs, because no matter how much you drink, you keep going to the bathroom.
As for polyphagia, if you can’t get energy from the food you’re eating, then no matter how much you eat, your body will still crave an energy source.
Help yourself by discussing your health concerns with your GP, alongside any symptoms you might be experiencing.
WebMD added that excess belly fat, an inactive lifestyle, a high-carb diet and smoking are likely to put you at an increased risk of diabetes.
The Mayo Clinic advises people to becoming more physically active, to eat plenty of fibre, and to lose excess weight to prevent the condition.
However, these lifestyle adjustments are still recommended if you’ve been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
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