Diabetes type 2: Dr Zoe Williams discusses high blood sugar risks

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Diabetes often goes undetected for many years because the problem that drives symptoms – high blood sugar levels – takes time to rear its ugly head. However, knowing what to look for can be the first step in identifying the condition. One warning sign strikes when you go to the loo.

Characterised by being “general”, symptoms are often subtle, making diabetics go years without realising something is wrong, the NHS explains.

Furthermore, as no two people are the same, the symptoms you experience “won’t exactly” match those of another diabetic, according to Diabetes UK.

However, one of “the most common” diabetes symptoms experienced by “many people” with the blood sugar condition is polyuria, the charity explains.

Polyuria, or peeing more frequently than usual, details passing excessive amounts of urine each time you pee.

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Diabetes.co.uk explains that patients 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.

Similarly to other diabetes symptoms, polyuria is triggered by “abnormally high” blood sugar levels.

Diabetes.co.uk explains: “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.

“This results in unusually large volumes of urine.”

The health portal recommends making a note of how much you drink; how often you pee and how much urine you produce every time you go to the loo, if you feel like you might have polyuria.

Once you identify the large frequency and excessive amounts of urine, it’s worth speaking to your doctor.

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

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As polyuria is driven by an increase in blood glucose, this sign can also crop up once you’re diagnosed with the blood sugar condition.

Once your blood glucose becomes too high, your body will try to remedy the situation by removing it from the blood through your kidneys. 

“When this happens, the kidneys will also filter out more water and you will need to urinate more than usual as a result,” Diabetes.co.uk states.

While polyuria is one of the most “common” symptoms of diabetes, it isn’t the only red flag.

According to the NHS, the tell-tale symptoms of diabetes include:

  • Feeling very thirsty
  • Peeing more frequently than usual, particularly at night
  • Feeling very tired
  • Weight loss and loss of muscle bulk
  • Itching around your genitals, or frequent episodes of thrush
  • Cuts or wounds that heal slowly
  • Blurred vision.

You should visit your GP “as soon as possible” if you experience these main symptoms, the health service urges.

While type 1 diabetes can develop quickly over weeks or even days, many people with type 2 can go years without realising they have the condition.


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