Type 2 diabetes is estimated to affect more than five million people in the UK, of which almost one million are currently undiagnosed according to research from Diabetes UK.
The NHS has warned that symptoms can be incredibly subtle, which means many could be living with the condition without even realising it.
One of the more common signs is frequent urination, especially between the evening and morning.
Needing to go to the toilet at night is considered normal, but feeling the urge to go more than once may indicate another underlying issue.
Diabetes.co.uk said: “Having high blood glucose levels can cause the body to excrete excess glucose via the urine. In this instance, more sugar appears in the urine and simulates extra volumes of urine to be produced.”
Other symptoms include persistent thirst, fatigue, unexplained weight loss, blurred vision, prolonged healing of cuts, and recurring genital itching or thrush.
Over half a billion people are currently live with diabetes, with a substantial 96% diagnosed with type 2, which is closely tied to obesity. This is a fivefold increase from 1980, when the disease affected approximately 108 million people.
Diabetes now ranks among the top ten causes of death. A high BMI (body mass index) was identified as the chief risk factor, responsible for over half (52%) of deaths and disability, followed by poor diet, environmental and occupational risks, smoking, low physical activity and alcohol use.
In a recent study that said cases could double by 2050, Dr Liane Ong, of the University of Washington, Seattle said: “Despite the common perception that type 2 diabetes is only linked with obesity, lack of exercise, and an unhealthy diet, its prevention and control are far more complex due to an array of contributing factors.
“These include genetic predispositions, as well as logistic, social, and financial barriers within a country’s structural system, particularly in lower and middle-income countries.”
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