Do you carry a little extra weight? Or have you noticed skin tags on your neck? Or maybe you experience skin pigmentation, urinary tract infections or thrush?
These are all signs you could be at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Dr Peter Brukner and Dr Paul Mason explain why these conditions are important to recognise and what you can do to ensure you minimise your chances of developing the condition.
Dr Paul Mason: So Peter, I often get asked by patients in my clinic whether they might be at risk of having diabetes?
Dr Peter Brukner: We know there are certain things that are associated with diabetes. The first is being overweight or obese.
Dr Paul Mason: And that's particularly important given that we know that 70% of Australians in fact, are overweight.
Dr Peter Brukner: And there are some other symptoms as well that might suggest diabetes?
Dr Paul Mason: Absolutely. Are you familiar with skin tags these little bits of skin that stick around the neck or in the armpits? Well, they're a sign of insulin resistance, which is strongly associated with type 2 diabetes. And you can also have pigmentation changes to the skin in the same area around the neck and in the armpits. So if you've got skin tags, you really ought be considering speaking to your doctor, about a blood test for type 2 diabetes.
Dr Peter Brukner: And infections can be associated with diabetes as well?
Dr Paul Mason: Oh absolutely! So being diabetic with these excessive levels of blood sugar really impairs the function of the immune system. So if you're having a lot of urinary tract infections, or say thrush or candida infections, things like that at a greater frequency than you used to, then you certainly ought to be thinking about whether your blood sugar levels are appropriately controlled.
Dr Peter Brukner: So ultimately, the diagnosis is made on a blood test. But these symptoms and science suggest that the diabetes is a possibility. So if you have them certainly go and see your doctor and ask for a blood test.