Diabetes type 2: One major warning sign to watch out for – have you experienced this?

Diabetes type 2 is a serious condition where the insulin a person’s pancreas makes can’t work properly, or their pancreas can’t make enough insulin. This can cause blood sugar levels to rise unimpeded, overtime this can pose serious health risks such heart and disease and strokes. A lot of people don’t get any symptoms or they don’t notice them. It is important to be on guard nonetheless – have you spotted this symptom?

Excessive hunger or increased appetite, medically known as polyphagia or hyperphagia, is one of the main signs of diabetes. People with polyphagia experience an excessive hunger that doesn’t go away by simply eating more food or eating more regularly than normal.

According to Diabetes.co.uk: “In uncontrolled diabetes where blood glucose levels remain abnormally high (hyperglycemia), glucose from the blood cannot enter the cells – due to either a lack of insulin or insulin resistance – so the body can’t convert the food you eat into energy.

“This lack of energy causes an increase in hunger.”

Simply eating will not stave off the hungry feeling of polyphagia in people with uncontrolled diabetes, as this will just add to the already high blood glucose levels, said the health body. The best way to lower blood glucose levels is to exercise as this can help to stimulate insulin production and reduce blood sugar levels, added the charity.

“However, if the hunger persists, you may need to consult your doctor or diabetes health care team,” it said.

Increased appetite can also be caused by abnormally low blood glucose (hypoglycemia).

As the health site explained: “If blood glucose readings fall below 4 mmol/l, the body usually responds by releasing stored glucose from the liver to raise glucose levels back to normal.

“However, people with diabetes that take medication such as insulin and sulfonylureas are at risk of developing a severe form of hypoglycemia and should therefore treat low blood glucose levels by eating something sweet as soon as hypoglycemia is recognised.”

According to the NHS, other common symptoms of type 2 diabetes include:

  • Peeing more than usual, particularly at night
  • 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

According to Diabetes UK, you are more at risk if you are white and over 40 or over 25 if you’re African-Caribbean, Black African, or South Asian.

You are also two to six times more likely to get Type 2 diabetes if you have a parent, brother, sister or child with diabetes.

Extra weight around your waist means fat can build up around your organs

Diabetes UK

Carrying excess weight is one of main risk factors, as the health site explained: “Extra weight around your waist means fat can build up around your organs, like your liver and pancreas.

“This can cause something called insulin resistance. So losing this weight could help the insulin you produce or the insulin you inject work properly.”

A healthy diet and keeping active will help to manage a person’s blood sugar level and control their weight.

According to the NHS, there’s nothing you can’t eat if you have type 2 diabetes, but you’ll have to limit certain foods.

You should:

  • Eat a wide range of foods – including fruit, vegetables and some starchy foods like pasta
  • Keep sugar, fat and salt to a minimum
  • Eat breakfast, lunch and dinner every day – don’t skip meals

The health body also recommends aiming for 2.5 hours of activity a week.

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