MILLIONS of people in the UK are currently living with diabetes.
It’s estimated that 90 per cent of those who suffer have type 2 – with many not even knowing they have the illness.
This is because many of the symptoms don’t always make you unwell.
Type 2 diabetes develops when the insulin-producing cells in the body are unable to produce enough insulin – it can also be triggered when the insulin that is produced doesn’t work properly.
It might seem like a strange place to have symptoms, but your hands could actually be a key indicator in diagnosing the condition.
Experts say there are a few signs to look out for in your hands and that you should be paying special attention to your fingernails.
A previous study found that people who have diabetes suffer issues with circulation.
This means that you could notice redness around the nails.
You should also keep an eye on your cuticles and how snug the nail is inside the nail bed.
The experts explained: “People with diabetes can also get periungual blisters, haemorrhage and ulceration. They may also show splinter haemorrhages if there have been arterial emboli – but injury is a more common cause.
“With absent circulation, the nail dies like the rest of the tissue.”
You might also suffer with Beau’s line, this can be visible in many people with chronic illnesses, including diabetes.
While you might be focused on your finger nails, it’s also important that diabetics pay attention to their toenails.
This is because people with the illness are more likely to experience a fungal infection know as onychomycosis.
If you have this condition then it’s likely that your nails will turn yellow and become brittle.
The NHS says that there are seven symptoms that you are likely to experience if you are type 2.
One of these is peeing more than usual and the NHS says that this will happen more at night time.
This happens when there is too much sugar in your blood as the kidneys work harder to get rid of it which in turn forces your body to make more urine.
What is the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes?
All types of diabetes cause blood glucose levels to be higher than normal, but the two different types do this in different ways.
The distinction lies in what is causing the lack of insulin – often described as the key, that allows glucose to unlock the door to the cells.
With type 1 diabetes, a person’s pancreas produces no insulin, but in type 2 cells in the body become resistant to insulin, so a greater amount of insulin is needed to keep blood glucose levels within a normal range.
However, doctors now think diabetes could be as many as five different diseases – and say that treatment should be tailored for the different forms.
Another symptom is feeling thirsty all the time and this is because you are urinating more which leads to dehydration.
Feeling tired all the time is another symptom and this could be due to low blood sugar levels.
The NHS says losing weight without trying, itching down below, cuts and wounds that take longer to heal and blurred vision are all key symptoms.
There are some things that put you at greater risk of diabetes and these include being over the age of 40, if you are overweight or obese and if you are of Asian, African-Caribbean or black African origin.
If you have any of the symptoms of type 2 diabetes then you should see your GP.
Early diagnosis is key when it comes to type 2 diabetes as this could reduce your risk of other health issues such as heart disease, kidney problems and sexual issues.
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