Wednesday, 26 Jun 2019

Type-2 diabetes symptoms: What really happens when left untreated and how to prevent

To mark Diabetes Awareness Week, VitalityHealth are encouraging people to understand the symptoms of type-2 diabetes.

The lifelong condition happens when your body doesn’t produce enough insulin or is unable to respond to it properly.

Around 80% of people with type-2 diabetes are overweight or obese, with the majority of sufferers taking medication.

Dr Dawn Richards from VitalityHealth has explained the links associated with type-2 diabetes and how to prevent the condition.

“What’s worrying is that thousands of people may have diabetes and not be aware of it”

Dr Dawn Richards

She said: “What’s worrying is that thousands of people may have diabetes and not be aware of it.

“That’s because the symptoms associated with the condition can be hard to spot or associated with other illnesses.

“As there is no cure for diabetes, it’s important to be aware of the symptoms and consult a GP if you have any concerns.

“Diabetes must be managed effectively on a daily basis to reduce the chance of developing longer-term complications.”

Here are Dr Dawn’s five tips to help mitigate the risk of developing type-2 diabetes:

1. Get active

Working your muscles more often and making them work harder improves their ability to use insulin and absorb glucose.

Your goal should be to introduce 30 minutes of physical activity that makes you sweat and breathe a little harder most days.

2. Eat well

Following a Mediterranean or other heart-healthy diet can help reduce your risk of developing diabetes.

The type of carbohydrates you eat as well as serving size is key.

Focus on wholegrain carbs instead of starchy carbs since they’re high in fibre and digested slowly, keeping blood sugar levels more even.

3. Control your blood pressure

Most people can do this with regular exercise, a balanced diet and by keeping a healthy weight.

In some cases, you might need medication prescribed by your doctor.

4. Cut down on alcohol

Too much alcohol can lead to weight gain and may increase your blood pressure.

Try to keep to a maximum of 14 units a week, but spread it out to avoid binge drinking.

5. Stop smoking

If you smoke, your chance of getting diabetes and other serious health conditions is even higher. Contact your GP for help quitting.

Common signs and symptoms of type-2 diabetes include:

  • Going to the toilet a lot, especially at night
  • Being really thirsty
  • Feeling more tired than usual
  • Losing weight without trying to
  • Genital itching or thrush
  • Cuts and wounds take longer to heal
  • Blurred vision
  • Type-2 diabetes

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