Diabetes symptoms type 2: Experiencing polydipsia when drinking is a warning sign

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Type 2 diabetes sends a very clear signal that your insulin production is not functioning properly. However, the signal may take years to surface because type 2 diabetes does not usually produce any symptoms initially. When symptoms do surface, they are often attributed to high blood sugar levels – a complication that arises from the lack of insulin needed to police them.

One telltale sign you have high blood sugar levels and therefore type 2 diabetes is polydipsia.

Polydipsia is the term given to excessive thirst and is one of the initial symptoms of diabetes.

According to Diabetes.co.uk, it is also usually accompanied by temporary or prolonged dryness of the mouth.

Becoming thirsty does not automatically mean you have type 2 diabetes – dehydration can be attributed to numerous factors.

However, as Diabetes.co.uk notes, if you feel thirsty all the time or your thirst is stronger than usual, and continues even after you drink, it can be a sign that not all is well inside your body.

Increased thirst in people with diabetes can sometimes be, but certainly not always, an indication of higher than normal blood sugar levels, the health body explains.

Other signs of high blood sugar levels include:

  • Needing to pee frequently
  • Tiredness
  • 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.

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“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.

It adds: “The earlier diabetes is diagnosed and treatment started, the better.”

How to manage diabetes symptoms

The key to controlling type 2 diabetes and staving off the risk of further complications is to stabilise blood sugar levels.

Diet plays a key role in managing blood sugar levels because carbohydrate intake is primarily responsible for spikes in blood sugar.

Carbohydrate is broken down into blood sugar (glucose) relatively quickly and therefore has a more pronounced effect on blood sugar levels.

Complex carbohydrates are a safer bet than simple carbohydrates because they take longer to digest, which means they have less of an immediate impact.

To help you steer clear of the worst culprits, you should refer to the glycaemic index (GI).

The (GI) is a rating system for foods containing carbohydrates. It shows how quickly each food affects your blood sugar (glucose) level when that food is eaten on its own.

Carbohydrate foods that are broken down quickly by your body and cause a rapid increase in blood glucose have a high GI rating.

High GI foods include:

  • Sugar and sugary foods
  • Sugary soft drinks
  • White bread
  • Potatoes
  • White rice.

Low or medium GI foods are broken down more slowly and cause a gradual rise in blood sugar levels over time.

They include:

  • Some fruit and vegetables
  • Pulses
  • Wholegrain foods, such as porridge oats.

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