High blood sugar is an insidious condition, as many people are completely unaware they have type 2 diabetes until other ailments start to occur. This is because the symptoms can be ever so slight (in the beginning). When blood sugar levels rise, a gradual onset of symptoms begin to emerge – so it’s crucial to be aware of the three Ps. The three Ps – polydipsia, polyuria, and polyphagia – are tell-tale signs of type 2 diabetes.
Polydipsia describes the sensation of excessive thirst – and it’s one of the initial symptoms of diabetes, said the experts at Diabetes.co.uk.
The NHS Eatwell Guide recommends people to drink six to eight glasses of fluid daily.
If you’re drinking more than this, without running a marathon (for example), it could be a sign of high blood sugar.
Should you suspect you’re drinking more than what is required, it will be handy to document how many fluids you drink throughout a day.
READ MORE: Alzheimer’s supplements: ‘Improved results in memory tests’ from a daily pill says study
One easy tip to keep track of your fluid intake is to have a one litre water bottle that you drink from.
An excessive sense of thirst is “usually accompanied by temporary or prolonged dryness of the mouth”, the experts said.
Considered one of the “big three” signs of type 2 diabetes, the other one you need to be aware of is polyuria.
Polyuria is the frequent need to urinate which, when combined with excess thirst, makes sense.
Each time you pop off to the loo, if you’re urinating large amounts each time – and often throughout the day – it might be a sign of high blood sugar.
The health site Diabetes.co.uk suggested that polyuria is classified as urinating “more than three litres a day”.
To compare, the “normal” daily urine output in adults is up to two litres – but it’s very unlikely somebody will be measuring their urine levels.
Another indication of high blood sugar (and another one of the Ps) is polyphagia.
Other signs of high blood sugar:
The NHS listed other signs of type 2 diabetes, including:
- 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.
It’s really important for your health to get a diabetes diagnosis so that treatment can begin.
Left untreated, type 2 diabetes can lead to:
- Heart disease and stroke
- Loss of feeling and pain (nerve damage)
- Foot problems – like sores and infections
- Vision loss and blindness
- Miscarriage and stillbirth
- Problems with your kidneys
- Sexual problems – like problems getting or keeping an erection.