Diabetes: Symptoms include ‘feeling tired all the time’, Dr Amir says
Diabetes can go undetected for many years because the problem that drives symptoms – high blood sugar levels – can be tricky to spot. The warning signs don’t necessarily make you feel ill or they tend to be general, which makes knowing what to look for front and centre. Fortunately, Dr Amir Khan has shared the six key symptoms to spot.
Speaking on ITV’s show Lorraine, Dr Khan said: “There are some common symptoms we can all look out for.
“The first one is feeling tired all the time because your body isn’t breaking down the sugar for energy, you start to feel tired.”
Once food is digested and enters your bloodstream, insulin gives glucose a push out of the blood and into your cells, where it gets broken down to create energy.
However, diabetes hampers this process, leaving glucose unable to break down.
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This occurs because there’s either not enough insulin to move the glucose, or the insulin produced does not work properly, the NHS explains.
Dr Amir continued: “Then you get thirsty because one of the ways your body gets rid of all that excess sugar is by peeing it out.
“You’re going more to the toilet to pee out the sugar and you’re drinking more to replace that water loss.”
While everyone is bound to get thirsty from time to time, feeling thirsty all the time or continuous thirst even after you drink could be a sign of diabetes.
Furthermore, thirst as a symptom of diabetes is often accompanied by either temporary or prolonged dryness of the mouth, according to Diabetes.co.uk.
When it comes to peeing, patients with the blood sugar condition can pass more than three litres a day, compared to the “normal” daily output recorded at around one to two litres.
The NHS notes that this annoying problem tends to crop up especially during the night-time, prompting you to get out of bed and use the loo.
Another symptom of diabetes can strike in your eyes. Dr Amir said: “The sugar can damage the blood vessels and nerves in the back of your eyes, so you can get blurred vision.
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“And all that excess sugar in your blood, which can’t break down, becomes a feeding frenzy for bugs so you get infections like thrush, skin infections, or urinary tract infections.
“And again, because you’re not breaking down the sugar, your body looks for other things to break down like fats and protein. So, you end up losing weight.”
Based on Dr Amir’s advice, the key symptoms of diabetes include:
- Feeling thirsty
- Frequent urination
- Blurred vision
- Frequent infections
- Weight loss.
The NHS recommends visiting your GP “as soon as possible” if you experience the key signs.
Dr Amir’s advice about diabetes symptoms comes as a report published by Diabetes UK revealed an all-time high for type 2 and type 1 diabetes cases.
The data suggests that 4.3 million people are officially classed as diabetic in the UK while another 850,000 live with the condition but are still waiting for a diagnosis.
Commenting on the findings during the ITV show, Dr Hilary Jones said: “That’s an epidemic. That’s a crisis because it has all sorts of long-term health implications – heart disease, kidney disease, visual problems, neurological damage.
“Not only it’s bad for their health but it’s a huge drain on the NHS in terms of financial resources.”