Diabetes type 2 warning – why you should never ignore this ‘unrelenting’ skin symptom
- Diabetes symptoms include an “unrelenting” itchiness
- Itchiness may be caused by reduced blood circulation.
- Skin can feel dry and itchy after it gets less blood – especially to the extremities
- Speak to a doctor if you have itchy skin that won’t go away by itself
Diabetes affects about 3.7 million people in the UK – 90 per cent of which are caused by type 2.
It’s caused by the pancreas not producing enough of the hormone insulin, or the body not reacting to insulin.
Diabetes symptoms can include blurred vision, having cuts or wounds that take longer to heal, or taking longer naps than usual.
But you could also be at risk of the condition if you have an “unrelenting itchiness”, according to medical website Prevention.
A constant itchiness could be a sign of reduced blood circulation – a sign of diabetes, it said.
The skin may feel drier than normal, and it usually affects the hands or feet.
Speak to a GP if you have dry, itchy skin – especially if it’s uncommon for you, urged the medical website.
“Think it’s silly to mention scratchy skin to your doctor? Not so,” it said.
“Diabetes impairs blood circulation, which can lead to dryness and itchiness.
“If regular use of a moisturiser doesn’t fix the itch, bring it up at your next appointment.”
Dr Howard Baum from Vanderbilt University added: “Some of my newly diagnosed diabetes patients mention they’re itchy on their extremities—the hands, lower legs, and feet.
“It’s something doctors should consider in conjunction with other diabetes symptoms.”
Finding a dark patch of skin on the back of the neck is another warning sign of diabetes.
The patch may appear like a piece of dirt, but it could actually be a sign of insulin resistance.
A ring of dark skin is called acanthosis nigricans, and it could also be caused by obesity or cancer.
A number of people may have diabetes without even knowing it, because symptoms don’t necessarily make you feel unwell.
Those most at risk of the condition are people over 40 years old, or are overweight.
Identifying diabetes early is crucial, as patients are more likely to develop some life-threatening conditions, including heart disease and strokes.
Speak to a GP if you’re worried about any of the signs or symptoms of diabetes.
A quick blood test could reveal whether you’re at risk of the blood sugar condition.
Diabetes: Four common symptoms
Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person’s blood sugar level to become too high.
There are two main types – type 1, when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the insulin producing cells, and type 2, when the body does not produce enough insulin, or the body’s cells don’t react to insulin.
Type 2 is more common that type 1, with 90 per cent of all diabetics in the UK having type 2.
Going to the toilet a lot more than usual, especially at night, is a common sign of diabetes.
Urinating frequently is also a sign of other medical issues, such as prostate problems, so be sure to visit your GP to have diabetes confirmed.
Excessive thirst, otherwise known as polydipsia, is a classic sign of diabetes.
It is linked to frequent urination. As excess glucose builds up in the blood, the kidneys are forced to work extra hard to filter and absorb the excess sugar, and if they can’t keep up, the excess sugar is excreted in to urine, taking along fluids from body tissue.
This triggers more urination, which may leave diabetics dehydrated.
High levels of blood sugar can cause the lens inside the eye to swell, which can result in blurred eyesight.
Very low blood sugar levels can also cause blurred vision.
If you aren’t trying to lose weight, and you notice a loss of muscle bulk or the numbers on the scales drop, this could be a sign of diabetes.
This happens because insufficient insulin prevents the body from getting glucose from the blood to the cells to use as energy.
The body will then start burning fat and muscle for energy, causing weight loss.