Diabetes symptoms often ignored – the SEVEN telltale signs of diabetes

Type 2 diabetes can be a 'devastating diagnosis' says expert

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Diabetes impacts more than 4.9 million people in the UK and there is a risk of this rising to 5.5 million by 2030 if nothing changes. A total of 13.6 million people are now at increased risk of type 2 diabetes in Britain. Express.co.uk has compiled a guide to explain some key symptoms of diabetes which are often ignored by sufferers.

Diabetes is a lifelong condition which impacts a person’s blood sugar level to become too high.

There are two types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2.

Type 1 is where the body’s immune system attacks and destroy the cells which produce insulin.

Type 2 is where the body does not produce enough insulin or the body’s cells do not react to insulin.

The latter is much more common than type 1 with around 90 percent of diabetes sufferers having type 2 in the UK.

Early signs of diabetes

Frequent urination

Needing to use the bathroom more often than normal, especially overnight, is a sign your blood sugar is not behaving normally.

The excess sugar in one’s bloodstream which cannot be filtered by their kidneys is flushed out with urine.

Therefore this could indicate an issue and you should seek medical advice.


There are several reasons one may experience fatigue and one is diabetes.

Diabetes impacts your energy levels because it makes you feel dehydrated and also interferes with the normal functioning of your body.

Dehydration causes people to feel tired and sluggish and the condition impacts how your body uses glucose for energy.

If your fatigue is not remedied by a good night’s sleep this could be an early warning sign of diabetes.

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Excessive thirst

Often those with diabetes will be excessively thirsty very often.

Having too much sugar in one’s bloodstream forces kidneys to work harder as they must filter extra sugar out.

Chronically high blood sugar levels can overload your kidneys and cause you to excrete excess sugar through urine.

As a result, this can make people feel thirsty and dehydrated – even if they are drinking lots of water.

To combat these symptoms drink plenty of water, cut down your sugar and talk to a medical professional.

Vision issues

People with diabetes should undertake regular visits to optometrists because high blood sugar can often lead to eye issues such as blurry vision and cataracts.

Diabetes can also lead to diabetic retinopathy, hyperglycemia and macular oedema.

If untreated many of these conditions can worsen and lead to blindness so it is important to seek medical advice if you experience any of the above.

Increased hunger

Diabetes can trigger hunger and cravings for many reasons including due to depression and mood swings or hunger hormone imbalances.

Insulin resistance can make people crave carbohydrates and sweets which will instantly spike your blood sugar.

Anyone experiencing really strong food cravings should try to sit down with a diabetes specialist or doctor to undergo blood testing.

Skin discolouration

Before a diabetes diagnosis often skin may darken in neck folds or over knuckles.

This is a result of insulin resistance and is a condition called acanthosis nigricans.

Losing weight

Diabetes essentially causes your body to malfunction which means it cannot use glucose as effectively for energy.

This means your body will start burning fat stores and you may experience an unexpected weight loss.

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