Diabetes: Signs around your genitals and eyes – many people have it ‘without realising’
Diabetes cases are set to rise to five million by 2025, according to Diabetes UK. The number of diabetes patients has more than doubled since 1996. There are several signs to be aware of, though sometimes they may be hard to spot. When you’ve got type 1 diabetes, you can’t make any insulin at all. If you don’t have diabetes, your pancreas releases the right amount of insulin.
The NHS says: “Many people have type 2 diabetes without realising. This is because symptoms do not necessarily make you feel unwell.”
The health body says that key signs include itching around your penis or vagina, or repeatedly getting thrush.
You may also notice that cuts or wounds take longer to heal, or that you have blurred vision.
Symptoms of type 2 diabetes also include peeing more than usual, particularly at night, feeling thirsty all the time, and feeling very tired.
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Type 2 diabetes is often diagnosed following blood or urine tests for something else.
You should visit your GP if you have symptoms, but it is also advised that you see your GP if you have risk factors of diabetes and are worried about developing diabetes in future.
NHS Inform says: “If you’re diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you may be able to control your symptoms simply by eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and monitoring your blood glucose levels.
“However, as type 2 diabetes is a progressive condition, you may eventually need medication, usually in the form of tablets.”
Indeed, in the UK, around 90 percent of all adults with diabetes have type.
Some people will also have pre-diabetes. This means that you have blood sugar levels above the normal range, but not high enough to be diagnosed as having diabetes.
There are a number of things which may help you reduce your risk of developing the condition.
The NHS says you’re more at risk of developing type 2 diabetes if you are over 40, or 25 for south Asian people, have a close relative with diabetes, are overweight or obese or are of Asian, African-Caribbean or black African origin (even if you were born in the UK).
Most people need medicine to control their type 2 diabetes.
The NHS says medicine helps keep your blood sugar level as normal as possible to prevent health problems.
You may have to take it for the rest of your life, and your medicine or dose may need to change, as diabetes usually gets worse over time.
“Insulin is not often used for type 2 diabetes in the early years. It’s usually needed when other medicines no longer work,” it adds.
Diabetes UK says: “If you have diabetes, you are no more likely to catch coronavirus than anyone else.
“However people with diabetes are more vulnerable to developing a severe illness if they do get coronavirus, but the way it affects you can vary from person to person.”
The charity says “being ill can make your blood sugar go all over the place” as your body tries to fight the illness by releasing stored glucose into your bloodstream, but your body can’t produce enough or any insulin to cope with this, so your blood sugars rise.
The booster vaccination programme is now in place for all people over 50 and people aged over 16 with a health condition that puts them at high risk from COVID-19.
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