Type 2 diabetes symptoms may only be discovered during a routine medical check-up with your GP, but being able to recognise symptoms of the condition can help avoid complications, including kidney failure, nerve damage, heart disease and stroke. Some of the main symptoms associated with type 2 diabetes are peeing more than usual, particularly at night, feeling very tired, and losing weight without trying to.
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But as is the case with many conditions, a person’s finger nails can also be an indicator of type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes.co.uk explains: “Nails are a tell tale sign reflecting a range of health problems. They are a trigger for diagnosis of skin ailments right through to chronic diseases.
“They say the eyes are the windows to your soul. Well then one’s nails must be the windows to one’s health.”
Normal, typical healthy nails are pink, flat and even in colour.
But nails that change shape, thickness and colour, and become separated from the nail bed, should be cause for concern.
Diabetes.co.uk continues: “If the nails are half-white and half-pink this could indicate kidney problems.
“If you see nail pits that could indicate the patient has psoriasis one of the skin disorders.
“A red nail bed cold mean you have heart disease.
“Liver disease can cause nail changes in the way your nails are shaped.”
One sign which can indicate diabetes is having a “slight blush” at the bottom of the nail.
It’s important to note that nails cannot pain the entire picture for a person’s health, so it’s important to recognise other symptoms of type 2 diabetes as well.
Other symptoms of type 2 diabetes
The NHS says the symptoms of type 2 diabetes include:
- Peeing more than usual, particularly at night
- Feeling thirsty all the time
- Feeling very tired
- Losing weight without trying to
- Itching around your penis or vagina, or repeatedly getting thrush
- Cuts or wounds taking longer to heal
- Blurred vision
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What is type 2 diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes is a condition which causes the body to lose control of the amount go glucose (sugar) in the blood.
The body doesn’t respond to insulin properly and may not produce enough, which causes blood glucose levels to become too high.
Who’s most at risk of type 2 diabetes
A person is more at risk of developing the condition if they:
- Are over 40 (or 25 for south Asian people)
- Have close relative with diabetes (such as a parent, brother or sister)
- Are overweight or obese
- Are of south Asian, Chinese, African or black African origin (even if they were born in the UK)
How to keep blood sugar levels in check
A healthy diet and keeping active can help manage blood sugar levels, advises the NHS.
When it comes to diet, it recommends: “There’s nothing you cannot eat if you have type 2 diabetes, but you’ll have to limit certain foods.
“You should eat a wide range of foods – including fruit, vegetables and some starchy foods like pasta, keep sugar, fat and salt to a minimum, and eat breakfast, lunch and dinner every day – do not skip meals.”
When it comes to exercise, it advises: “Physical exercise helps lower your blood sugar level. You should aim for 2.5 hours of activity a week.
“You can be active anywhere as long as what you’re doing gets you out of breath. This could be fast walking, climbing stairs, and doing more strenuous housework or gardening.”
Losing weight if you’re overweight is also important.
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