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Diabetes is on the rise: How do you know if you have it?

Main image 11 June, 2018

The number of people living with diabetes in the UK is now estimated to be more than 4 million and it’s thought that almost 600,000 people have the condition but don’t know it. So how would you know if you have diabetes? And if you do have it, how do you treat it?

Before we look at the warning signs and how to diagnose diabetes, it is worth explaining what diabetes is and pointing out the two main types.

As most people are aware, there are two main types of diabetes, a common disorder that results in the level of sugar in the blood being too high.

Type 1 diabetes, which accounts for about 10 per cent of all adult cases, can develop at any age but usually before the age of 40, while type 2 diabetes usually appears in people over the age of 40, and accounts for around 90 per cent of all people with the condition.

What are the symptoms of diabetes?

Common warnings signs of diabetes include:

  • Extreme tiredness and fatigue
  • Dry mouth and increased thirst
  • Having to pee more regularly (especially at night)
  • Unexplained weight loss (even though you’re eating and often feel hungrier than normal)
  • Blurred vision and headaches

How to diagnose diabetes

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, you should visit your GP as soon as possible to undergo some tests.

In many cases, just a few drops of blood are all that’s needed to tell if you’re suffering from diabetes. At YourGP private health practice in Edinburgh, we can carry out a blood test, known as glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c), to measure the level of sugar in your blood.

We provide short-notice appointments and will have your result the next working day, so thanks to having this blood test, you’ll know if you have diabetes in a matter of days.

How is diabetes treated?

There isn’t actually a cure for diabetes, but it can be treated successfully by administering insulin for some, taking specific tablets for others and following a healthy lifestyle and healthy, balanced diet.

What’s more, before you even have the condition, a healthy lifestyle and diet has been shown to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the first place.

There isn’t a specific diet for diabetes, but you should aim to maintain a healthy balanced diet.  At YourGP, our nutritional therapist, Anne Cross, will discuss a specific diet for you to follow, which may be augmented with additional nutritional supplements to help you maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

As you follow your diet, Anne will keep in touch with you to provide support and motivation.  Working together with the doctors, Anne and the wider clinical team, you’ll know you’re in very professional, caring hands.

If you want to find out more about diabetes, or arrange an appointment, use our online booking form, email our reception team at reception@your.gp or call us on 0131 225 5656.

And if you want to find out more about how nutrition and a healthy lifestyle can treat diabetes, or have your own experience of this to share, leave a comment below, or get in touch on Facebook or Twitter

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