Health

Millions at risk as ‘77% of people with type 2 diabetes suffer hidden illnesses’ like schizophrenia


MILLIONS of type 2 diabetes sufferers are at risk as many of them are experiencing hidden illnesses such as schizophrenia and other mental health conditions.

Researchers today revealed that 77 per cent of those with the illness are also battling with at least one other physical or mental health condition.

New research claims diabetes are more likely to have other underlying health conditions

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New research claims diabetes are more likely to have other underlying health conditions

In the UK estimates suggest that there are over four million people living with diabetes across the country.

This accounts for around six per cent of the population and means that one in every 16 people have the condition.

The research, released by the University of Manchester comes after it was confirmed that people with diabetes are more likely to die from the coronavirus.

A report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the US last month stated that people with diabetes are 12 times more likely to die than those who do not have the illness.

What is type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is the more common form of the disease – accounting for between 85 and 95 per cent of all cases, according to Diabetes UK.

Type 2 diabetes is the more common form of the disease – accounting for between 85 and 95 per cent of all cases, according to Diabetes UK.

It develops when the insulin-producing cells in the body are unable to produce enough insulin.

It can also be triggered when the insulin that is produced doesn’t work properly.

Typically, people are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes from the age of 40, but there are some exceptions.

In people from southern Asia the disease can appear as early as 25.

And the condition is becoming more prevalent in children, teenagers of all ethnicities.

Experts suggest the rising rates of type 2 diabetes is due to the obesity epidemic – a key cause of type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes can be treated with drugs, and many people can reverse their condition by adopting a healthy lifestyle – a healthy diet and exercise.

Patients were also six times more likely to be hospitalised with Covid-19.

The new study from the University of Manchester highlighted that conditions such as schizophrenia are 2.4 times more likely to be present compared to people without diabetes.

The symptoms of the mental illness were previously not thought to be linked to type 2 diabetes and are underreported in diabetes guidelines.

This is while patients with type 2 diabetes were also 1.8 times more likely to have depression.

The research suggests that people with diabetes may also be suffering from other mental health conditions

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The research suggests that people with diabetes may also be suffering from other mental health conditionsCredit: Getty – Contributor

As well as this they were 1.6 times more likely to have both asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) than people without diabetes.

The study also found that around 52 per cent of diabetes patients are likely to have hypertension.

In addition 24 per cent of people were diagnosed with hyperlipidaemia – a condition which means your blood has too many lipids.

This is while 18 per cent were diagnosed with osteoarthritis, 12.4 per cent with depression and 5.6 per cent with anxiety.

If clinicians were made aware of this vital information, that could help avoid dangerous drug-drug or drug-disease interactions and protect patients’ welfare

Dr Salwa ZghebiUniversity of Manchester

The study, published in the BMJ Open is the first to compare patterns of major illness between people with and without type 2 diabetes.

By using data from 391 general practices in England, the researchers also found that the prevalence of cardiovascular disease doubled for people with type 2 diabetes.

It also showed the prevalence of depression in people with the condition aged 16-35 was higher compared with rates observed in people aged 76 and over.

The team compared 108,588 people with type 2 diabetes to 528,667 people without and found that the association of other illnesses was generally higher in women compared with men.

Type 2 diabetes – the 7 signs to watch out for

People with type 2 diabetes are more likely to suffer with a secondary health condition, but how do you know if you’ve got type 2 diabetes? Here are the seven signs to look out for

1. Peeing more than usual

Needing to go to the toilet more than usual is a common sign of the condition.

This is because after a long period, the pancreas – which produces the insulin – becomes so tired that it can no longer produce enough insulin.

2. Feeling thirsty all the time

High blood sugar levels can lead to dehydration.

A person with uncontrolled diabetes may experience polydipsia, a form of extreme thirst.

3. Afternoon slump and tiredness

Many people with diabetes will describe themselves as feeling tired, lethargic or fatigued at times.

Two common reasons for tiredness or lethargy are having too high or too low blood sugar levels.

4. Losing weight without trying to

A decrease in body weight that occurs unintentionally can be a warning sign of diabetes.

In people with diabetes, insufficient insulin prevents the body from getting glucose from the blood into the body’s cells to use as energy.

5. Genital itching or thrush

Type 2 diabetes can make it extremely itchy and uncomfortable around your penis or vagina.

In diabetes, blood glucose levels can go abnormally high, which can therefore provide ideal conditions for naturally present yeast to grow and also diminishes the body’s ability to fight infection.

6. Cuts and wounds taking longer to heal

Wounds or sores that take more than a few weeks to heal often indicate diabetes.

High levels of blood glucose caused by diabetes can, over time, affect the nerves (neuropathy) and lead to poor blood circulation.

7. Blurred vision

You may not know this, but type 2 diabetes can cause vision loss.

And according to experts, it is the leading cause of vision loss among adults aged 20 to 74.

The researchers stated the reason for this was unclear but add that hypothyroidism, for example, was nearly four-times higher in women than in men with the condition.

Researchers examined the annual patterns of 18 physical and mental conditions in people with and without type 2 diabetes.

The study was conducted over an 11-year period and the lead author, Dr Salwa Zghebi said the findings present important clinic and public health implications.

“We highlight the need for future clinical guidelines in diabetes to refocus patient-centred care on non-cardiometabolic conditions such as asthma, COPD, anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, and osteoarthritis.

“Mental health is of particular concern and our data highlight a profound clinical need in young people with type 2 diabetes who might benefit enormously from mental health interventions.”

She added: “These comorbidities are associated with a higher number of prescribed medications. So if clinicians were made aware of this vital information, that could help avoid dangerous drug-drug or drug-disease interactions and protect patients’ welfare.

“For example, some diabetes therapies should not be taken by people with kidney disease or heart disease – and this research will alert clinicians to that possibility.”

President of the International Diabetes Federation has advice for diabetics who are worried about coronavirus and their condition





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