Approximately one million people currently have undiagnosed type 2 diabetes in the UK. The prevalence of undiagnosed cases owes in part to the lack of symptoms that accompany the condition in the early stages. It can take years for symptoms to show up but when they do, it can be serious.
General signs of high blood sugar include:
- Increased thirst and a dry mouth
- Needing to pee frequently
- Blurred vision
- Unintentional weight loss
- Recurrent infections, such as thrush, bladder infections (cystitis) and Skin infections
- Tummy pain
- Feeling or being sick
- Breath that smells fruity.
How to respond
According to the NHS, you should see a GP if you have any of the symptoms of type 2 diabetes or you’re worried you may have a higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes.
“You’ll need a blood test, which you may have to go to your local health centre for if it cannot be done at your GP surgery,” explains the health body.
As it points out, the earlier diabetes is diagnosed and treatment is started, the better.
This is inaccurate – there’s technically nothing you cannot eat if you have type 2 diabetes, but you must limit your intake of certain carbohydrates.
Carbs are broken down into glucose (blood sugar) relatively fast and therefore have a pronounced impact on blood sugar levels.
The worst offenders are those that rank high on the glycaemic index (GI) – a rating system for foods containing carbs.
It shows how quickly each food affects your blood sugar (glucose) level when that food is eaten on its own.
High GI foods include:
- Sugar and sugary foods
- Sugary soft drinks
- White bread
- White rice.