TYPE 2 diabetes can be controlled and even prevented if a person overhauls their lifestyle and improves their diet. If left untreated, rising blood sugar levels in the body can cause a host of health problems. The most life-threatening risks are heart disease and stroke. Many people live with type 2 diabetes without realising it, as the symptoms do not usually cause pain. One early warning sign to watch out for is unexplained weight loss.
Unexplained weight loss is the term used to describe a decrease in body weight that occurs unintentionally.
The amount a person weighs is determined by a number of factors including age, calorie intake and overall health.
While losing weight can help reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes – carrying excess weight is one of the chief culprits – unexplained weight loss can signify the condition, as Diabetes.co.uk explained: “In people with diabetes, insufficient insulin prevents the body from getting glucose from the blood into the body’s cells to use as energy.
“When this occurs, the body starts burning fat and muscle for energy, causing a reduction in overall body weight.”
Frequent urination, another common sign of the condition, may also contribute to unexplained weight loss.
When you lose glucose through frequent urination, you also lose calories
According to Mayo Clinic, “When you lose glucose through frequent urination, you also lose calories.”
Diabetes.co.uk recommends consulting your GP if you have unintentionally lost more than five percent of your normal body weight, or more than ten lbs (4.5 kg) in six to twelve months or less.
They will be able to determine what’s causing the weight loss (e.g. undiagnosed diabetes) and the best way to treat the problem, it said.
- 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
- Itching around your penis or vagina, or repeatedly getting thrush
- Cuts or wounds taking longer to heal
- Blurred vision
If you are newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, the health body recommends going for a check-up every three months to make sure the condition doesn’t lead to other health problems.
A routine check-up will assess your average blood sugar levels and how close they are to normal, it says.
“You have these checks every 3 months when newly diagnosed, then every 6 months once you’re stable,” it said.
It is also advisable to get a yearly check-up on your feet to see if you if you have lost any feeling, or have developed any ulcers or infections, said the health body.
This can be done by a local GP, diabetes nurse, or podiatrist.
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