The symptoms associated with type 2 diabetes are a case study of the impact high blood sugar levels can have on the body. Blood sugar is the main type of sugar you get from food. Ordinarily, the pancreas regulates the amount of blood sugar in your body but if you have type 2 diabetes, this mechanism is impaired, which results in unregulated blood sugar levels.
Some of the most destructive effects associated with consistently high blood sugar levels fall under the category of neuropathy.
Neuropathy is damage or dysfunction of one or more nerves.
High blood sugar levels are a primary cause and when high blood sugar levels damage the small blood vessels that nourish your nerves, this can lead to focal neuropathies.
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) focal neuropathies are conditions in which you typically have damage to single nerves, most often in your hand, head, torso, or leg.
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“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,” it explains.
What’s more, the earlier diabetes is diagnosed and treatment started, the better.
As the NHS points out, early treatment reduces your risk of other health problems.
What happens next
Following a formal diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, you’ll be required to make healthy lifestyle changes in order to stabilise your blood sugar levels.
The GI is a rating system for foods containing carbohydrates. It shows how quickly each food affects your blood sugar (glucose) level when that food is eaten on its own.
Carbohydrate foods that are broken down quickly by your body and cause a rapid increase in blood glucose have a high GI rating.
High GI foods include:
- Sugar and sugary foods
- Sugary soft drinks
- White bread
- White rice.
Low or medium GI foods are broken down more slowly and cause a gradual rise in blood sugar levels over time.
- Some fruit and vegetables
- Wholegrain foods, such as porridge oats.