Type 2 diabetes can spell long-term health problems yet many people shrug it off as a relatively benign condition. This is because the symptoms do not necessarily make you feel ill. Getting up more frequently in the night to urinate – a common symptom – is inconvenient but not insufferable. What is happening underneath the surface is to be taken seriously, however.
- Type 2 diabetes symptoms: The sign in your eye
Type 2 diabetes means your blood sugar (a type of sugar you get from eating food) levels are rising uncontrollably because the pancreas is not producing enough of a hormone called insulin to control it.
Eventually, high blood sugar levels start damaging the blood vessels that supply blood to vital organs in the body.
When this happens, a host of unusual symptoms may show up on the surface of your body.
One major sign that high blood sugar levels are inflicting damage on your body can be seen when you come into contact with different surfaces.
According to Mayo Clinic, consistently high blood sugar levels can lead to increased sensitivity to touch — for some people, even a bedsheet’s weight can be painful.
What causes this symptom?
As the health body explains, it is the result of diabetic neuropathy, whereby high blood sugar injures nerves throughout your body.
Increased sensitivity to touch is a sign of the most common type of diabetic neuropathy – peripheral neuropathy.
The symptoms of peripheral neuropathy are often worse at night, it adds.
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What should I do if I experience this symptom?
According to the NHS, you should contact your GP immediately if you experience symptoms of type 2 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,” explains the health body.
Do not put off visiting your GP.
As the NHS points out, early treatment reduces your risk of other health problems associated with type 2 diabetes, such as heart disease.
- Type 2 diabetes symptoms: Experiencing pain here is a warning sign
What happens next
Once you receive a type 2 diabetes diagnosis, steps must be taken to stabilise your blood sugar levels.
There are two major components to controlling blood sugar levels – eating a healthy, balanced diet and engaging in regular exercise.
In relation to the former, there are technically no foods you cannot eat but you’ll have to limit certain foods, notes the NHS.
The worst offenders are foods high in carbohydrates.
Diabetes.co.uk explains: “Carbohydrate is broken down into glucose relatively quickly and therefore has a more pronounced effect on blood sugar levels than either fat or protein.”
Keeping active and eating a healthy diet provides both direct and indirect benefits for blood sugar levels by encouraging weight loss.
Studies suggest that abdominal fat causes fat cells to release ‘pro-inflammatory’ chemicals, which can make the body less sensitive to the insulin it produces by disrupting the function of insulin responsive cells and their ability to respond to insulin.
The indirect benefit weight loss has on blood sugar management is that you are more likely to cut out sugary foods that will send your blood sugar levels soaring.
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