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Type 2 Diabetes Is a Silent Killer, Could You Have It?

It takes more lives than AIDS & breast cancer combined but many Indians are not even aware they have type 2 diabetes

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4 min read
Type 2 Diabetes Is a Silent Killer, Could You Have It?

(14th November is observed as the World Diabetes Day. The alarming rate of childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes in India has experts worried. Nearly two-third children in Indian cities have abnormal blood sugar levels. The World Health Organisation has described the situation an ‘exploding nightmare’)

We’re a truly diabetic nation.

Our diets have become muted metabolic time bombs, we are the biggest consumers of sugar in the world. Top that with record sales of mithai and namkeens in the name of festive indulgence and you get 65 million diabetes and the crown of being the diabetes capital of the world.

It’s a huge epidemic.

There are two types of diabetes. Though both involve the body’s inability to process sugar and glucose, they are very different. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the body can not secrete insulin. Only 10 per cent diabetes cases are of type 1, which is usually diagnosed during childhood or adolescence and managed through daily insulin shots.

Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, is a sneaky monster. Here the body produces insulin but can’t process it properly. The early warning signs are hard to spot and sometimes people brush it off as stress and fatigue.

Here are five warning signs for when to get tested:

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1. You’re Always Running to the Loo

Suddenly feel the pressing need to urinate more often? It might be time to see a doctor (Photo: iStockphoto, altered by The Quint)

If you guzzle down a lot of water, you will obviously pee more often than others.

In diabetes, your body converts food into sugar far less efficiently and therefore, sugar starts accumulating in the blood. The body gets rid of the extra sugar by excreting it through the urine.

This is the reason for frequent urination. So if you are up at night because you need to go to the washroom more than one or two times, it’s time to get your blood sugar checked.

2. You’re Obese

Those who are heavy, run a higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes. And those with a beer belly run an even higher risk. (Photo courtesy: Tumblr/cuervonejo)

When you’re overweight or obese, your body’s systems, metabolic and cardiovascular are destabilized because of the kind of chemicals which the fat releases.

Overeating results in a group of stressed cells which are unable to process all the food that’s coming in; the network signals to weaken the insulin receptors on the cell surface. Therefore, the body slowly becomes resistant to insulin and high concentrations of glucose in the blood becomes a medical issue-aka, diabetes.

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3. You Have Blurred Vision and Headaches

(Photo: iStockphoto, altered by The Quint)

You feel like pounding your head with a hammer during a migraine attack? That’s different. But if you notice an increase in regular episodes of headaches and the condition is accompanied by blurry vision, for no rhyme or reason, chances are that all is not well. Your blood sugar levels may be running awry or your eyesight may have weakened. Either ways, best to get it checked by an expert.

4. You OD On Soda

Soda junkies beware. (Photo courtesy: Tumblr/cuervonejo)

Sugar drinks, including sweetened soda, kill more than 1.85 lakh people globally. And it’s not just the sugar which is a killer here. A large-scale study published last year in medical journal Diabetologia, conducted by European scientists, involving over 12,000 people, found a direct link between drinking one can of soda every day for 6 months and a 25 per cent higher risk of type 2 diabetes. (God help you if you have more than a can per day).

The same study also concluded that soda consumption is a “direct” path to diabetes – no matter what your weight may be.

Also Read: 90% Diabetics Are Unaware About Their Condition

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5. You Are Always Hungry and Thirsty

(Photo courtesy: Tumblr/eunicexist)

Polishing off a cheesy burger with coke and fries, and not gaining weight is the biggest problem of my life, said no girl ever. But if you’re living this miracle, it might not necessarily be a dream. Unless of course, you lucked out on the gene pool.

Eating too much and still being able to fit in your hot pants is a sign that your insulin isn’t working as it should. Because of this, pancreas over-produce the insulin and make you feel hungry all the time.

Related Watch: Diabetes DeQoded: A Crash Course in This Morbid Disease

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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