Blood sugar – the main type of sugar you get from eating food – supplies the body’s cells with energy. However, consistently high levels can unleash destruction on the body. If you have type 2 diabetes, you are prone to high blood sugar levels because the main regulating force – insulin production – is impaired.
The effects of high blood sugar levels often constitute the first perceptible warning signs of type 2 diabetes.
Some of the most acute symptoms stem from autonomic neuropathy – damage to nerves that control your internal organs.
As the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIH), high blood sugar in the blood from diabetes can damage your nerves and the small blood vessels that nourish your nerves, leading to autonomic neuropathy.
Struggling to adjust your eyes in a dark room is a warning sign of autonomic neuropathy.
NIH explains: “Damage to the nerves in your pupils may make them slow to respond to changes in light and darkness.”
The health body adds: “Your eyes may take longer to adjust when you enter a dark room. You may have trouble seeing the lights of other cars when driving at night.”
This is otherwise known as ‘dark adaptation’, which refers to how the eye recovers its sensitivity in the dark after exposure to bright lights
Other signs of autonomic neuropathy include problems with:
- Heart rate and blood pressure
- Digestive system
- Sex organs
- Sweat glands.
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How to respond
According to the NHS, you should see a GP if you have any of the symptoms of type 2 diabetes or you’re worried you may have a higher risk of getting 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.”
The earlier diabetes is diagnosed and treatment started, the better.
As the NHS explains, early treatment reduces your risk of other health problems.
What will your GP recommend?
Lifestyle changes are usually recommended to bring blood sugar levels down to keep the risks of diabetes at bay.
There are two key components to blood sugar control – eating a healthy, balanced diet and regular exercise.
A common misconception about type 2 diabetes is that you need to avoid eating certain foods.
There’s technically nothing you cannot eat if you have type 2 diabetes, but you’ll have to limit certain foods.
The worst offenders are carbohydrates because carbs are brown down into glucose relatively quickly – this causes spikes in blood sugar.
There are some general dietary principles that can help you to manage type 2 diabetes.
According to the NHS, you should:
- Eat a wide range of foods – including fruit, vegetables and some starchy foods like pasta
- Keep sugar, fat and salt to a minimum
- Eat breakfast, lunch and dinner every day – do not skip meals.
Physical exercise helps lower your blood sugar level – you should aim for 2.5 hours of activity a week, advises the health body.
“You can be active anywhere as long as what you’re doing gets you out of breath,” it adds.
Published at Mon, 08 Feb 2021 14:12:09 +0000