Type 2 diabetes would have seemed relatively harmless had it not been for the threat of rising blood sugar levels. If you have type 2 diabetes, the hormone responsible for regulating the amount of blood sugar in your blood – insulin – is disrupted. This poses serious health risks, because although blood sugar provides energy to cells, it must be moderate. Constantly high blood sugar levels can trigger a wave of damage to the body.
Some of the most acute signs of this destruction fall into the category of diabetic neuropathy.
Diabetic neuropathy is a general term for nerve damage caused by persistently high blood sugar levels.
“You can have nerve damage in any part of your body, but most often it affects the nerves in your legs and feet,”
What to look for
According to the CDC, there are three sensations in the legs that indicate that blood sugar levels are damaging the nerves.
READ MORE: Type 2 diabetes: Three symptoms that require you to call 999 immediately – a pharmacist
Diet, exercise or medication can be adjusted to help stabilize blood sugar levels.
When it comes to diet, there is technically nothing you can’t eat if you have type 2 diabetes, but you should limit your intake of certain foods.
Carbohydrates should be monitored, as carbohydrates are broken down to glucose relatively quickly – this can have a pronounced effect on blood sugar levels.
Not all carbohydrates pose the same level of risk, and a reference to the glycemic index (GI) can help you identify the worst culprits.
GI is a system for evaluating foods containing carbohydrates – it shows how quickly each food affects your blood sugar (glucose) level when this food is eaten alone.
Carbohydrates, which are broken down quickly by your body and cause a rapid rise in blood sugar, have a high GI rating.
High GI foods include sugar and sugary foods, sugary soft drinks and white bread.
Instead, you should choose foods with low or medium GI that break down more slowly and cause your blood sugar levels to rise gradually over time.
- Some fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains, such as oatmeal.
To maximize the benefits of a healthy diet, you should engage in at least 2.5 hours of activity per week, the NHS advises.
The health body continues, “You can be active anywhere, as long as what you do leaves you breathless.”
This can be:
- Fast walking
- Climbing stairs
- Doing more strenuous housework or gardening.