Diabetes is a condition that causes your blood sugar level to become too high and your body cannot regulate it naturally. (1)
There are two types of diabetes. Type One Diabetes is where your body’s immune system destroys the necessary cells to produces insulin. Type Two Diabetes is where your body doesn’t produce enough or cells do not react to insulin. Type two is the most common form of diabetes. In the UK, 90% of people who have diabetes have Type Two. (1)
The condition can affect and cause several health complications later in life. It increases your risk of heart attacks and strokes to kidney problems and nerve damage. Also, realising you are diabetic can be a big shock to people and will require some significant changes to your lifestyle to manage this condition. (2)
That is why it is important to diagnose your diabetes as soon as possible. The sooner you realise you’re diabetic, you can begin taking the necessary medication and alter your lifestyle to avoid these dangerous health complications.
How Can You Tell if You Have Diabetes?
You can self test for diabetes by using a blood glucose monitor.
If you are concerned that you or a family member may have diabetes, you should see your GP.
What are the Symptoms of Type One Diabetes?
The symptoms of Type One Diabetes can come on quickly. Especially with children. Here are some signs that you might have Type One Diabetes:
- You find yourself constantly feeling thirsty
- You need to urinate more than usual, especially at night
- You begin feeling very tired
- You find yourself have lost weight without changing your diet or trying
- You begin to experience blurred vision
- You find any cuts or grazes are not healing
- You keep contracting thrush (4)
If you have any of these, it is advised that you speak with your GP and express your concerns. Again, these do not conclusively say you are diabetic but you should seek further consultation from your healthcare provider.
What are the Symptoms of Type Two Diabetes?
Type Two Diabetes can be difficult to spot and it is possible for people to live with Type Two Diabetes without knowing it. This is because most potential symptoms do not always make you feel unwell and do not bring them up to their doctor.
Some symptoms include:
- You need to urinate more than normal, particularly at night
- You feel thirsty all the time
- You find yourself constantly fatigued
- You find an itch around your penis or vagina or are repeatedly getting thrush
- You are losing weight without trying
- You begin experiencing blurred vision
- Your cuts or wounds are taking longer to heal (5)
It is important to consider if you’re more likely to developing Type 2 Diabetes. People from certain backgrounds, genetic histories or lifestyles are more at risk in developing conditions.
- Are you over 40? Of, if from a South Asian background, over 25?
- Do you have close relatives with diabetes?
- Are you overweight? Or Obese?
- Are from a South Asian, Chinese, African Caribbean or Black African origin?
If you are from these backgrounds or have these genetics, you may be more susceptible to developing Type Two Diabetes.
How to Test for Diabetes?
Once you’ve noticed these signs, you should go and speak to your doctor to discuss these further.
Your GP may decide to administer a urine test or check your blood sugar levels. However, if they do believe you have diabetes, they may advise you to go to a hospital and get assessed there. This would take the form of a blood test, measuring your blood sugar level, where you’d receive the results on the same day. (4, 5)
It is important to understand that this does not provide a conclusive test. It is an indicator that you need to follow up. Please see your doctor with these results and for further testing.
At Chemist Direct, we understand the impact diabetes poses to individuals and families. We also understand the risks that diabetic face and the importance of diagnosing it quickly. It is why we work with leading pharmaceutical and healthcare brands to provide our customers with the best products for diabetics. Check them out today.
This article has been medically approved by Superintendent Pharmacist Shilpa Shailen Karia, MRPharmS. - GPhC Reg No: 2087328