Red flag signs of killer condition that often goes undetected for years

It is not that unusual to feel a little bit more tired or run down than usual every now and then. There are a number of reasons for this, as our wellbeing can fluctuate depending on our diet, sleep and other influences.

However, in some cases they could also be an indicator that something more serious is wrong.

The NHS has warned of some telltale symptoms of diabetes that you shouldn’t ignore as cases are rising in the UK.

Diabetes is a serious and typically lifelong condition which causes your blood sugar levels to become too high.

If not treated it can damage your vital organs like kidney, nervous system, heart, eyes and brain, potentially leading to fatal emergencies like heart attacks, renal failure and stroke.

In the UK alone, around 4.4 million people are diagnosed with diabetes.

But experts believe that this number is lower than the actual count due to the fact the symptoms can be hard to spot.

According to Diabetes UK, there could potentially be an additional 1.2 million people living undiagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

And those registered with diabetes have surged in the UK. In the years 2022/23 cases surged by 167,822 compared to the numbers from 2021/22.

Type 2 diabetes is far more common than type 1, affecting around 90 percent of cases.

It is often caused by being obese or overweight, or not exercising enough, although it can run in families.

Symptoms

According to the NHS, there are seven key signs of diabetes to be aware of:

  • Urinating more than usual
  • Feeling thirsty all the time
  • Feeling very tired
  • Losing weight without trying to
  • Itching around your penis or vagina, or repeatedly getting thrush
  • Cuts or wounds taking longer to heal
  • Blurred vision.

If you experience any unexplained symptoms you should speak to your GP.

The NHS advises seeing your doctor “as soon as possible” if you experience any symptoms.

It adds: “Type 1 diabetes can develop quickly over weeks or even days.

“Weight loss is common in people with type 1 diabetes when it first develops and before it’s treated, but it’s less common in people with type 2 diabetes.

“Many people have type 2 diabetes for years without realising because the early symptoms tend to be general, or there are no symptoms at all.”

Your risk of developing type 2 diabetes increase if you:

  • Are over 40 years old, or over 25 if you’re from an Asian, Black African or Black Caribbean ethnic background
  • Have a close relative with diabetes (such as a parent, brother or sister)
  • Are overweight or living with obesity or are not very physically active
  • Are from an Asian, black African or black Caribbean ethnic background.

To calculate your risk of diabetes you can use Diabetes UK’s Know Your Risk tool at riskscore.diabetes.org.uk/start.

By inputting details such as your ethnicity, age, height, weight and waist measurement, it will provide an assessment of your personal risk of developing type 2 diabetes and advice on what to do next.

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