Diabetes is a condition which causes your blood sugar level to become too high. Type 1 diabetes is where the body's immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin, whereas with Type 2 diabetes the body does not produce enough insulin, or the body's cells do not react to insulin.
Your risk factor of developing Type 2 diabetes is higher if a close blood relative has diabetes.
Diabetes can also develop in pregnancy. Gestational diabetes can affect you and your baby during pregnancy and after birth. Risks are reduced if the condition is detected early and well managed. Development of Gestational diabetes means you may develop it again with future pregnancies but also puts you at an increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes in the future. Women diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) are at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, due to the association with insulin resistance and therefore higher levels of insulin circulating in the blood.
Type 2 diabetes is more common than Type 1, in the UK there are around 5 million people living with diabetes. Type 1 diabetes can develop quickly over weeks or even days, whereas many people may have Type 2 diabetes for years without knowing as the early symptoms are quite general.
If you experience any of the following, you should see your GP as soon as possible;
- Feeling very thirsty, as this is due to losing the extra sugar in your blood.
- Peeing more frequently than usual, particularly at night. This is your body’s way of trying to lower the blood sugar levels.
- Feeling very tired, due to the sugar from your blood being unable to enter the cells turning it into energy.
- Weight loss and loss of muscle bulk without trying to.
- Itching around the penis or vagina, or frequent episodes of thrush. This is likely to occur if your wee contains a high sugar level as it can cause a fungal infection.
- Cuts or wounds that heal slowly, due to your blood sugar levels limiting the nutrients and oxygen reaching the wounds to heal them.
- Blurred vision, which can be as a result of a blood sugar build up.
You may have experienced a delay in diagnosis of diabetes which has impacted on your life, in the most serious cases it may have led to you losing your vision, a limb or the life of your loved one. If your symptoms are not recognised in a timely manner the outcome could be life changing. It is vital that once diagnosed your symptoms are correctly managed, as diabetes is not a curable condition. However, diagnosis is the first stepping stone and its best to visit your GP if you experience any of the symptoms listed.
Poor management or delayed diagnosis may lead to further complications such as:
- Peripheral Neuropathy- nerve damage in the hands, feet and arms.
- Pressure sores/ulcers developing due to nerve damage and poor circulation
- Damage to your eyes, through developing Glaucoma or Cataracts
- Heart attacks or strokes
- Kidney damage
- Reduced life expectancy
How can Burnetts help
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If you would like to speak to someone within our Medical Negligence team, then please contact us on 01228 552222 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Please note that both telephone and video appointments can be arranged.