Six key symptoms of type 2 diabetes to spot – and who’s at risk

A nutritionist has outlined the tell-tale signs of type 2 diabetes as around one million Britons have the blood sugar condition without knowing it.

Earlier this week, findings from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggested that many more people living in England – perhaps five million – could also be on the verge of developing type 2 diabetes.

The ONS based the data on information, including blood tests looking at blood sugar levels, gathered from 26,751 adults who took part in an annual survey of the nation’s health called the Health Survey for England.

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the level of sugar, known as glucose, in your blood becomes too high. This raises your spectre of dangerous complications.

Fortunately, identifying the condition and managing your blood glucose through healthy lifestyle choices could help avert this threat.

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the level of sugar, known as glucose, in your blood becomes too high.

Elizabeth Wall, a registered nutritionist from Nutrivitality, recommended looking out for the following key symptoms:

  • Urinating more often
  • Feeling very thirsty and tired
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Cuts or wounds healing slowly
  • Blurred vision 
  • Regular bouts of thrush.

The NHS recommends seeing a GP if you have any of the symptoms pointing to type 2 diabetes.

The nutritionist explained that there’s a mix of factors that could increase your risk of developing this condition. Wall said: “Being obese can increase your risk of developing type 2, as this can cause insulin resistance, but simply being obese does not mean you will have the disease.

“Age and genetics can also play a role in increasing risk, as people from Black and Asian backgrounds tend to be at risk at a younger age and your chances increase as you get older.

“It is also common to see that if a parent has diabetes, a child may also have it.”

In light of the new data from the ONS, Kiara Lipschitz, Registered Dietitian at OptimallyMe, warned that we all need to be “more proactive in improving and understanding our health”.

Lipschitz said: “These findings should serve as a wake-up call to everyone. It’s shocking, but the fact that such a significant number of people are unknowingly at risk shows an issue in our healthcare system: the gap between disease and diagnosis.

“Many of us also don’t know how our diets are affecting our health, or that you can have diabetes even if you have a lower BMI or smaller waist. Education around our own health, and not one-size-fits-all health advice, is vital.”

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