The 3 little-known symptoms of killer diabetes – from embarrassing itches to exhausting habits | The Sun

DIABETES is a serious condition that affects over 4.3million Brits.

Many more – an estimated 850,000 – are living with the condition unknowingly, as symptoms can be subtle and don't always leave people feeling unwell.

A further 2.4million people are at an increased risk of type 2 diabetes in the UK based on blood sugar levels, according to Diabetes UK.

And it's feared people are being diagnosed increasingly younger as more Brits become overweight and unfit.

Being over the age of 40 if you are white, and over the age of 25 if you are African-Caribbean, Black African, Chinese or South Asian, is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes leaves sufferers with too much glucose, or sugar, in the blood.

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Type 2 accounts for 90 per cent of cases of the disease in the UK,

It happens when the body does not use insulin properly, a hormone that regulates sugar in the blood.

It can be deadly or cause organ damage if left untreated, yet many people go for years not knowing they have the condition.

Here, on World Diabetes Day, we look at some of the symptoms of the disease.

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1. Vision changes

One lesser-known sign of the condition is vision changes, specifically blurriness.

Dr Shane Kannarr, from All About Vision, said this is because high blood sugar damages the eyes.

He explained: "High blood sugar can change the blood vessels in our retina or cause swelling in the tissues of our eyes which help us see, causing blurred vision.

"High blood sugar can also change the shape of our lens, and if left untreated, it can lead to problems like cataracts, glaucoma and retinopathy."

2. Embarssing itches

Another surprising sign is genital itching called thrush.

Yeast infections can be common in diabetics and this is because sugar helps candida – the fungus that causes thrush – to grow.

The NHS says that people who have poorly controlled diabetes may experience this more.

3. Constantly needing to wee

Type 2 diabetes might make you need to pee all the time.

Dr Kishan Vithlani, NHS GP and Medical Director at Qured, said this is because when your blood sugar levels are high, your kidneys work to remove the excess sugar from your bloodstream.

"This in turn increases the body’s production of urine, and the number of times you have to visit the loo," he said.

According to the NHS, othercommon signs of diabetes are:

  • Feeling thirsty all the time
  • Feeling very tired
  • Losing weight without trying to
  • Cuts or wounds taking longer to heal

The life-threatening condition is often triggered by poor lifestyle habits like eating too much unhealthy food or not exercising.

More than 700 people with diabetes die prematurely every week.

If not managed correctly, the condition can also lead to sight loss and limb ambuations, among other serious life-changing complications.

Meanwhile, type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune condition where the body attacks and kills insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, and is normally diagnosed in childhood.

Insulin is the key hormone in regulating blood sugar levels.

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Diabetes UK has said that if nothing changes, 5.5 million people in the UK will have the disease by 2030.

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