Diabetes is a growing public health problem in New Zealand, particularly among Pacific, Maori and Asian people, and increasingly, among older Europeans.
It’s estimated there are about 250,000 people living with diabetes in New Zealand, of which between 5% and 10% are Type 1, and the rest Type 2.
Type 1 diabetes is when your body stops producing insulin, and you need to inject it in order to live. Insulin is a hormone produced in your pancreas which allows your body to use sugar and carbohydrates.
Type 2 diabetes is when your cells don’t produce enough insulin to keep you healthy, and most people try to manage this form of the disease through diet and medication.
So, what are the early warning signs you might be developing diabetes? We’ve put together a list of the top five symptoms. The list is not definitive or authoritative, so remember to always to consult your doctor for medical advice.
People with diabetes frequently display tiredness. This is because your blood glucose levels are not controlled well by your body, leading to excess fatigue.
4. Poor blood circulation
Due to an increase in the glucose sugar level of your blood, it tends to make it thicker, causing the blood vessels to get narrower. This in turn can lead to a feeling of numbness, especially at the extremities like hands and feet, as well as difficulty in healing cuts and bruises around the body.
Diabetes causese dehydration. The dehydration comes from the increased sugar glucose in the blood, which acts like a sponge to the water, making you feel more thirsty. The dehydration can also lead to vision problems, because they eyes become irritated and itchy from dryness.
2. Going to the toilet more often
You might also find yourself going to the toilet more often to urinate. When the blood sugar levels are high, your kidneys start working overtime to remove the excess sugar from your blood. The by-products are then transported to your bladder, making you feel the need to urintate more often.
1. Dry skin
Because of the decreased blood flow, vital nutrients often do not reach the skin. Around 30% of diabetes sufferers will develop skin conditions as a result, which can range from mild irritation to more serious conditions.