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Type 2 diabetes: Is your groin this colour? Warning symptom of high blood sugar

Type 2 diabetes is an extremely common condition which affects around four million people in the UK. This represents six percent of the UK population or one in every 16 people who have diabetes. Many are unaware they even have the condition and are putting themselves at great health risks. Type 2 diabetes affects insulin in a person’s body.


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Insulin allows the glucose in the blood to enter the cells and fuel the body.

For type 2 diabetics, however, the pancreas must respond to this complication and releases insulin.

When this does not work properly, blood sugar levels increase to dangerous levels with unusual warning signs in the body.

Spotting this colour on your groin could mean you may be at risk.

A lesser known warning sign of type 2 diabetes includes noticing a new development of dark patches on the skin.

This includes the groin, neck, and armpits.

Experiencing dark patches might be widespread, or only noticeable in the creases of skin.

The skin around the neck tends to feel velvety or thicker than usual.

The condition is known as acanthosis nigricans and can be sometimes also present on the groin and armpits too.

The condition is particularly common with those with type 2 diabetes.

It occurs due to high levels of insulin in the bloodstream which causes skin cells to reproduce faster than normal.

Acanthosis nigricans can also be a sign of another underlying condition which is why it’s important to speak with your GP and get it checked.


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Diabetes.co.uk said on their website: “Acanthosis nigricans is a relatively common skin condition that is one of the symptoms of diabetes.

“Acanthosis nigricans is characterised by darkening of the skin at particular areas.

“It is not a dangerous condition in itself but is typically a sign of the presence of a problematic condition such as type 2 diabetes and sometimes cancer.

“The signs of acanthosis nigricans are quite distinctive and result in a darkening of the skin around folds of skin, typically affecting the groin, neck, armpits or joint of the fingers or toes.

“As well as being darker, the skin may take on a leathery or velvety feel and the skin may itch or smell.”

The NHS said: “The most common cause of acanthosis nigricans is being very overweight.

“Other causes include type 2 diabetes, conditions that affect hormone levels such as Cushing’s syndrome, polycystic ovary syndrome or an underactive thyroid.

“Taking certain medicines including steroids or hormone treatments like the contraceptive pill.

“In rare cases it could be stomach cancer or a faulty gene inherited from your parents.”

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  • Posted on May 5, 2020