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Today’s Common and Serious Conditions | Diabetes


Look out for these symptoms, they could be a sign of diabetes: 1. Fatigue 2. Persistent thirst 3. Urinating more frequently 4. Slow healing wounds 5. Blurred vision 6. Frequent episodes of thrush 7. Unplanned weight loss 8. Muscle loss


DECIPHERING Diabetes


It is estimated that over three million adults in the UK are suff ering from diabetes, and the NHS predicts that this fi gure will rise to 4.6 million by 2030. However, with the right treatment and lifestyle changes, long- term complications can be prevented and diabetes easily managed. Here is what you need to know.


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here are two types of diabetes, but over 90 percent of people diagnosed over the age of 16 suffer from


type-2 diabetes. Many people also suffer from a condition known as prediabetes, where the blood sugar level is higher than it should be, but not high enough for a diabetes diagnosis. These people are at a substantially higher risk of developing type-2 diabetes in the future. Regardless of the type of diabetes, the sooner it is detected the better, as without proper treatment the condition will get progressively worse and can lead to a number of complications including heart disease, eye damage, nerve damage, kidney damage and hearing impairment. Knowing the differences between the types of diabetes and the symptoms to look out for can help you to make that all important early diagnosis.


Type-1 Diabetes Generally, type-1 diabetes has an early


onset, developing before the age of 40. It is the most common form of diabetes in children, but accounts for only 10 percent of adult cases. It is an autoimmune condition, which means that the immune system mistakes cells in the pancreas as harmful and attacks them. As a result, the pancreas of someone suffering from type-1 diabetes does not produce insulin, the hormone needed to regulate blood sugar levels and move glucose from the blood into cells to be used as energy. Without insulin, the body ends up breaking down fat and muscle to use as energy instead. Diabetic ketoacidosis is the condition that results from this if type-1 diabetes is not properly treated, causing severe dehydration and the bloodstream to become acidic. Unlike type-2 diabetes, which can go undetected for a long time, the onset on type-1 diabetes tends to develop quickly. As such, it should be easier to diagnose the condition at an early stage.


DEAR DOCTOR WITH DR CHRIS STEELE 29


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