Diabetes is a common condition that affects more than four million people in the UK, and 90 percent of all cases are caused by type 2 diabetes. You could be at risk of high blood sugar if you lose weight without any obvious reason.
Type 2 diabetes could be caused by the body not producing enough of the hormone insulin, or the body not reacting to insulin.
Without enough of the hormone, the body struggles to convert sugar in the blood into usable energy.
It’s crucial that if you think you may have diabetes, you speak to a doctor as soon as possible.
One of the key warning signs of diabetes is losing a large amount of weight unexpectedly.
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“When people have diabetes, insufficient insulin levels prevent the body’s cells from absorbing glucose from the blood, to be converted into energy,” said Pharmacy2U’s superintendent pharmacist Phil Day.
He told Express Health: “When this happens, the body then starts to burn fat and muscle for energy instead, which causes body weight to be lost.”
It’s normal to lose weight in some life situations, said the NHS, including throughout the stress of changing jobs or bereavement.
This weight usually returns when life becomes more normal, however.
If you start to lose significant amounts of weight without any obvious reason, it may be caused by something more serious.
Unexplained weight loss may also be caused by some cancers, an overactive thyroid gland, or even some mental health conditions.
On rare occasions, it may be caused by heart or kidney disease, some inflammatory conditions – including arthritis -, or dementia.
Many people may have diabetes without even knowing it, because the signs and symptoms don’t necessarily make you feel unwell.
Common diabetes symptoms include having cuts or wounds that take longer to heal, having an unquenchable thirst, and passing more urine than normal.
You should speak to a doctor if you’re worried about the warning signs or symptoms of diabetes, or if you think you may be at risk.
Diagnosing the condition early is very important, because patients are more at risk of some deadly complications, including heart disease and strokes.