Diabetes symptoms: Experiencing the ‘4 Ts’? UK health body urges people to contact their G

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There are three types of diabetes but type 1 and type 2 are the most well-known. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin while type 2 diabetes is when the body does not produce enough insulin or the body’s cells do not react to insulin. Although type 2 diabetes is the most common, accounting for around 90 percent of cases, it is essential to remain knowledgeable of signs of both types.

Amid all the other conditions one should be aware of, it can be easy to forget the symptoms of diabetes. However, charity Diabetes UK has developed a simple way to remember the main symptoms of the condition.

Known as the 4 Ts, they have been developed to help people notice the symptoms of type 1 diabetes in children.

The 4 Ts are:
• Toilet
• Thirsty
• Tired
• Thinner.

On the first of these four, Diabetes UK wrote: “Going to the toilet a lot to pass urine, bed wetting by a previously dry child or heavier nappies in babies. Getting up in the night to go to the toilet.”

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Furthermore, with regard to the second T, thirsty, they added: “Being really thirsty and not being able to quench the thirst. Your child may ask for a drink more often, finish drinks very quickly or you may notice they generally drink more.”

On the third T, Tired, they add that a child who is feeling more tired than usual and not playing as often could be a sign of something amiss.

The fourth T, thinner, is one which can be the result of a multitude of factors including type 1 diabetes and other conditions.

If these symptoms arise, Diabetes UK say “you should seek urgent medical help” as type 1 diabetes is a chronic condition which requires careful lifelong management. The reason for this is because an imbalance in blood sugar levels can lead to a range of complications.

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The NHS say high blood sugar levels can lead to a range of health problems including:
• Heart disease
• Stroke
• Foot and circulation problems
• Sight problems
• Nerve damage
• Kidney problems
• Gum disease.

Diabetics may experience a loss of feeling as a result of nerve damage causing numbness, pain, tingling, problems with sex, constipation, or diarrhoea. Should these changes occur it is essential your diabetes nurse or GP is informed.

It is important to note that nerve damage can occur in those with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes in particular can be affected by diet and event sent into remission.

However, for the most part, prevention is key; one study suggests a particular food type may help in this regard.

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Conducted by the University of Naples Federico II and published in the journal Diabetologia, the study investigated which food types could increase or decrease the risk of diabetes.

They found dairy products consumed in moderate amounts could reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. These conclusions were reached after the team conducted reviews of existing meta-analyses into the impact of food and drink on the disease.

It was from this that 200g of milk a day was associated with a 10 percent reduced risk of diabetes while 200g a day of total dairy reduced the likelihood of the condition by 5 percent.

However, 30g of cheese or 200g of full-fat dairy had no impact on the likelihood or not of diabetes.

On why some dairy products had this impact, Dr Annalisa Giosue said: “Dairy products are rich in nutrients, vitamins and other bioactive compounds which may favourably influence glucose metabolism – the processing of sugar by the body.

“For example, whey proteins in milk are known to modulate the rise of blood sugar levels after eating. Probiotics are also known to exert beneficial effects on glucose metabolism, which may explain why we found that a regular consumption of yogurt is associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.”

Alongside potentially reducing the risk of diabetes, milk is also an excellent source of calcium, vitamin D, vitamin A, and other nutrients. It is for this reason that it is often recommended for children to help their bones grow stronger.

Other milks of different origins such as those which are plant-based, also have their own benefits to the human body and overall health.

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