Saturday, 2 Jul 2022

Diabetes: The unexplained change that could be a symptom – warning signs of condition

Diabetes UK show how to test feet for diabetic feet sensitivity

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Type 2 occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin, or the cells in question do not react to insulin.

In the UK, type 2 is far more common than type 1, making up 90 percent of cases.

There are a number of symptoms of type 2, including those which may seem unusual.

One symptom is losing weight without trying to.

Other symptoms include urinating more than usual at night, feeling thirsty all the time, feeling very tired, itching around the penis or vagina, cuts or wounds taking longer to heal, and blurred vision.

A person is more at risk of diabetes if they are over the age of 40, have a close relative with the condition, are overweight or obese, or are of Asian, African-Caribbean or black African origin.

Meanwhile scientists have now discovered a night-time habit is linked to an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease.

Several studies have found sleeping with the light on could cause health issues.

 

Previous research had suggested it could be associated with diabetes in elderly people and obesity in women, while another study suggested it could affect how people with pre-diabetes control their levels of blood sugar.

Now a new study from the United States says people exposed to artificial light have worse cardiovascular regulation and glucose regulation than those who sleep without a light.

Co-author of the study Dr Phyllis Zee said: “We found that light – even [a] modest amount – increases activation of the autonomic nervous system, which we postulate increased heart rate and decreased insulin sensitivity.”

The reason given for the body’s poorer performance at night with the light on is down to the system being kept more alert.

Although the study points towards sleeping with the light on as a risk factor for diabetes and heart disease the researchers say this doesn’t paint the full picture.

Dr Zee explained: “Because we only studied one night and in a healthy group, we are unable to say if these are clinically significant.

“However, the change in insulin would be considered a physiologically significant change that may translate into a risk for disease.”

The results have also been cautioned due to the small size of the study.

Professor Jonathan Cedernaes of Uppsala University in Sweden added: “Light is the strongest signal to our circadian pacemaker that controls rhythms in physiology and behaviour, including in metabolism.”

Professor Cedernaes recommended people sleep in as dark an environment as possible.

Furthermore, Professor Russell Foster from the University of Oxford responded: “This is a very interesting study, and although the numbers are fairly small and the mechanisms not fully understood, the findings are consistent with previous observations that light at night can increase physiological alertness, reduce deep sleep and increase the release of stress hormones via the sympathetic nervous system.”

For more information on diabetes contact the NHS or consult with your GP.

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