Type 2 diabetes can be a 'devastating diagnosis' says expert

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Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition whereby blood sugar levels are at risk of becoming too high. This is due to a dysfunction in the way the body produces insulin – a hormone that regulates blood sugar. Unfortunately, type 2 diabetes does not announce its presence until blood sugar levels become consistently higher than usual.

One telltale sign of confidently high blood sugar levels is “passing more urine than normal, especially at night”, explains Diabetes UK.

This symptom, also called polyuria, is where the body urinates more than usual and passes excessive or abnormally large amounts of urine each time you urinate.

Polyuria is defined as the frequent passage of large volumes of urine – more than three litres a day compared to the normal daily urine output in adults of about one to two litres.

How it’s linked to diabetes

Polyuria is usually the result of drinking excessive amounts of fluids (polydipsia), particularly water and fluids that contain caffeine or alcohol.

“It is also one of the major signs of diabetes mellitus. When the kidneys filter blood to make urine, they reabsorb all of the sugar, returning it to the bloodstream,” explains Diabetes.co.uk.

The health body continues: “In diabetes, the level of sugar in the blood is abnormally high. Not all of the sugar can be reabsorbed and some of this excess glucose from the blood ends up in the urine where it draws more water.”

As it explains, this results in unusually large volumes of urine.

“You should consult your doctor if you have excessive urination over several days that cannot be explained by an increase in fluids or medications.”

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Other warning signs of high blood sugar include:

  • Passing more urine than normal, especially at night
  • Being very thirsty
  • Tiredness and lethargy
  • Thrush or other recurring bladder and skin infections
  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Weight loss
  • Feeling sick.

“Symptoms of hyperglycaemia build up slowly over time as your sugar levels rise, meaning you may not notice them until your blood glucose is very high, at which point you should take action straight away to reduce your blood sugar levels,” warns Diabetes UK.

Having high blood sugar levels regularly is not something you should live with.

“This is because in the long-term it can increase your risk of developing diabetes complications, such as neuropathy and retinopathy,” explains Diabetes UK.

How to respond

The NHS says: “See a GP if you have any of the symptoms of type 2 diabetes or you’re worried you may have a higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes.”

According to the health body, you’ll need a blood test, which you may have to go to your local health centre for if it cannot be done at your GP surgery.

“The earlier diabetes is diagnosed and treatment started, the better. Early treatment reduces your risk of other health problems,” explains the health body.

Usually, the following things happen after your diagnosis:

  • The GP may prescribe medicine. It might take time for you to get used to the medicine and to find the right doses for you
  • You will usually need to make changes to your diet and be more active
  • You’ll have to go for regular type 2 diabetes check-ups
  • You’ll have to look out for certain signs to avoid other health problems.

What’s included in a diabetes diet?

The Mayo Clinic explains: “A diabetes diet simply means eating the healthiest foods in moderate amounts and sticking to regular mealtimes.

“A diabetes diet is a healthy-eating plan that’s naturally rich in nutrients and low in fat and calories. Key elements are fruits, vegetables and whole grains. In fact, a diabetes diet is the best eating plan for most everyone.”

If you have diabetes or prediabetes, your doctor will likely recommend that you see a dietitian to help you develop a healthy-eating plan.

The Mayo Clinic explains: “The plan helps you control your blood sugar (glucose), manage your weight and control heart disease risk factors, such as high blood pressure and high blood fats.”

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