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Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition whereby the threat of high blood sugar is constantly present. Blood sugar is the main type of sugar found in blood; it nourishes the body in important ways. High blood sugar levels can inflict damage on the nerves and blood vessels, however.
Unfortunately, if you have type 2 diabetes then the one check you have on blood sugar is out of action – the pancreas.
The pancreas is an organ responsible for secreting insulin, a hormone that regulates the amount of blood sugar in the blood.
With the pancreas effectively out of action, high blood sugar levels have free rein to bulldoze through the body.
The damage inflicted by high blood sugar levels can produce noticeable warning signs and these signs can alert you to untreated type 2 diabetes.
Some of the most distinctive complications of high blood sugar fall under ‘diabetic neuropathy’ – nerve disorders caused by sustained high blood sugar.
Autonomic neuropathy occurs if the nerves which help to control involuntary functions, including digestion and sweating, become damaged, explains Diabetes.co.uk.
According to the health body, the symptoms of autonomic neuropathy can vary depending on which organs are affected.
If the nerves which control bladder function are affected by autonomic neuropathy, this can lead to problems including insufficient emptying of the bladder, it explains.
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Other signs include:
- Bacteria developing in the bladder
- Loss of bladder control – urinary incontinence.
How should I respond?
It is vital to bring blood sugar levels under control to reduce the risk of incurring permanent damage.
A healthy diet and keeping active will help you manage your blood sugar level.
As the NHS points out, making these healthy lifestyle changes will also help you control your weight and generally feel better.
There’s nothing you cannot eat if you have type 2 diabetes, but you’ll have to limit certain foods.
Foods with a high carbohydrate content can send blood sugar levels soaring so must be eaten in moderation.
The glycaemic index (GI) can help you identify the worst culprits when doing your weekly food shop.
The GI index 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.
In addition to overhauling your diet, increasing the amount of exercise you do each week can also help to stabilise blood sugar.
According to the NHS, you should aim for 2.5 hours of activity a week to manage blood sugar levels.
“You can be active anywhere as long as what you’re doing gets you out of breath,” adds the health body.
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