Earwax is produced by the outer part of the ear canal, and is made up of natural oil and sweat, mixed with dead skin cells and hair. You tend to get two types of wax and it’s all down to your genetics. Specsavers chief audiologist, Gordon Harrison, explained: “Some people will have dry, flaky wax, others will have softer, moist earwax that is brown or orange in colour.

“The correct medical term for earwax is cerumen, but some slang terms include ear potato, ear raisin and golden balls!”

Healthy ear wax can vary in colour, from white, yellow, brown or black.

If ear wax is green or smelly, or if your ear is bleeding, it could indicate an infection and you should seek a medical opinion urgently, said Mr Misha Verkerk, Clinical Director of Auris Ear Care.

But interestingly, substances in ear wax could give us some clues to your health, Verkerk advised.

He said: “Researchers at University College London found that a build up of the stress hormone cortisol could be detected in ear wax.

“This could be a way to monitor mental health or decide who would benefit from antidepressant medication.

“The same researchers also found that sugar levels could be measured in ear wax, which could mean that ear wax could be used to detect or monitor diabetes.”

Type 2 diabetes is a common condition that causes the level of sugar (glucose) in the blood to become too high.

Many people with type 2 diabetes may have it without realising.

This is because symptoms don’t necessarily make a person feel unwell.

The NHS says symptoms include:

  • peeing more than usual, particularly at night
  • feeling thirsty all the time
  • feeling very tired
  • losing weight without trying to
  • itching around your penis or vagina, or repeatedly getting thrush
  • cuts or wounds taking longer to heal
  • blurred vision

Your earwax could detect or monitor diabetes - what different types of earwax mean

The health body notes you’re more at risk of developing type 2 diabetes if you:

  • are over 40 (or 25 for south Asian people)
  • have a close relative with diabetes (such as a parent, brother or sister)
  • are overweight or obese
  • are of Asian, African-Caribbean or black African origin (even if you were born in the UK)

It also offers a type 2 diabetes risk checker, which requires answering a few questions and can be accessed on the NHS website.

If you suspect you have any of the symptoms of type 2 diabetes, see a GP.

Also, see a GP if you’re worried you may have a higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes.

The NHS explains: “A GP can diagnose diabetes. You’ll need a blood test, which you may have to go to your local health centre for if it cannot be done at your GP surgery.

“The earlier diabetes is diagnosed and treatment started, the better. Early treatment reduces your risk of other health problems.”

Post source Daily Express

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