Type 2 diabetes is prevalent because it speaks to the ill effects of the modern age. Being overweight and inactive are contributing risk factors, both of which are made more likely in today’s world, where there is an abundance of cheap, fast food and ways to get around exercising. The condition itself is hard to spot because it doesn’t produce any symptoms in the initial stages.
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In fact, the condition is often picked up during a routine check-up for another underlying condition or complaint.
The condition can naturally rear its head in unsettling ways too.
This is because high blood sugar levels – a feature of untreated type 2 diabetes – can inflict considerable damage on the body.
Some of the most conspicuous signs of prolonged high blood sugar levels is linked to diabetic neuropathy.
Diabetic neuropathy is a type of nerve damage that can occur if you have diabetes. High blood sugar (glucose) can injure nerves throughout your body.
According to Mayo Clinic, one way to tell high blood sugar levels have damaged the nerves that control your eyes are changes in the way your eyes adjust from light to dark.
This is known as autonomic neuropathy.
Other signs of autonomic neuropathy include:
- A lack of awareness that blood sugar levels are low (hypoglycemia unawareness)
- Bladder or bowel problems
- Slow stomach emptying (gastroparesis), causing nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite
- Decreased sexual response
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How to lower high blood sugar levels
Fortunately, high blood sugar levels can be lowered and the damage associated with it can be reversed, although this is not always the case.
A healthy diet plays an essential role in regulating your blood sugar levels.
As the NHS explains, there’s nothing you cannot eat if you have type 2 diabetes, but you’ll have to limit certain foods.
The health site you can eat a wide range of foods – including fruit, vegetables and some starchy foods like pasta.
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Despite the health body’s advice, starchy suggestions divide opinion.
That’s because starchy foods, such as white bread and pasta, tend to be high in carbohydrate.
Carbohydrate is broken down into glucose relatively quickly and therefore has a more pronounced effect on blood sugar levels than either fat or protein.
To stay on the safe side, it is advisable to cut down the amount of carbs you consume.
A handy way to separate high and low carb items is to follow the glycemic index (GI).
The glycemic index is a value assigned to foods based on how slowly or how quickly those foods cause increases in blood glucose levels, explains Harvard Health.
Keeping active is also a bulwark against high blood sugar levels.
According to the NHS, you should aim for two and a half hours of activity a week.
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