Yes, you could have had diabetes for a considerable period of time, months or even years, and been unaware of it.
Milder degrees of diabetes are often without obvious symptoms,sometimes you might feel tired.
Studies have shown that, on average, type 2 diabetes has been present for several years by the time it is diagnosed.
It is important that diabetes is detected and treated, because it can lead to serious health consequences, which may be irreversible when detected.
About one of every three people has detectable neuropathy (nerve damage) at the time of diagnosis, indicating that longstanding diabetes has been present.
Less commonly, eye damage (retinopathy) and/or kidney damage (nephropathy) are discovered at the time of diagnosis.
These are serious consequences of diabetes and are the leading causes of blindness and kidney failure in adults .
As serious, or even more serious than this, is the potential for undetected and untreated diabetes to lead to heart attacks, strokes, heart failure, or amputations.
Indeed, almost 4 of every 10 people admitted to hospital with a sudden serious cardiac event will be found to have previously unsuspected and undiagnosed diabetes or prediabetes.
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