Diabetes rates to soar globally by 2050 - how to spot diabetes symptoms, difference between type 1 & 2

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The number of people with diabetes is set to soar by 2050 - but how can you spot diabetes symptoms and what are the differences between type 1 and 2?

According to new research, the number of people with diabetes will rise from 529 million to 1.3billion globally by 2050. The research states the increase will be driven by the world’s ever-expanding waistline and a growing older population.

Scientists at the University of Washington, Seattle, called the figures ‘alarming’ and warned of an impending wave of heart disease and stroke cases. Researchers found that one in ten people would have diabetes within the next three decades, compared to six percent now.

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In the UK, the scientists said rates would rise from six per cent in the 1990s to up to 14 percent over the next 30 years. In the United States, rates had risen by more than 160% since the 1990s.

Below is a look at how to spot the symptoms of diabetes and the differences between type 1 and type 2.

How to spot diabetes symptoms 

Diabetes is a condition which causes a person’s blood sugar level to become too high. Visit your GP as soon as possible if you experience the main symptoms of diabetes, which include:

  • feeling very thirsty
  • peeing more frequently than usual, particularly at night
  • feeling very tired
  • weight loss and loss of muscle bulk
  • itching around the penis or vagina, or frequent episodes of thrush
  • blurred vision

Differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes 

Type 1 diabetes 

Type 1 diabetes is a lifelong condition where the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin. It happens when your body cannot produce enough of a hormone called insulin, which controls blood glucose.

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With type 1 diabetes, you need to take insulin every day to keep your blood glucose levels under control. Type 1 diabetes is not linked with age or being overweight.

Type 2 diabetes 

Type 2 diabetes is more common than type 1 and causes the level of sugar (glucose) in the blood to become too high. It’s caused by problems with a chemical in the body called insulin.

Type 2 diabetes is often linked to being overweight or inactive, or having a family history of diabetes.

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