Type 2 diabetes occurs when your pancreas struggles to produce enough insulin to maintain the body’s blood sugar balance.
This means that blood sugar levels can rise uncontrollably, a mechanism that may lead to serious complications such as heart disease, if left untreated.
To compensate for your pancreas’ poor insulin production, you must turn to your lifestyle to regulate blood sugar levels and stave off the risks associated.
- Diabetes type 2 symptoms: The sign in your skin you could be at risk
Of course, before you devise a strategy to keep blood sugar levels under control, you must first recognise the warning signs associated with type 2 diabetes to establish whether you have it.
This can be easier said than done as many symptoms associated with type 2 diabetes go unnoticed because they do not necessarily make you feel unwell.
There are some discernible signs, however, and one outward sign of type 2 diabetes is slow would healing.
Wounds or sores that take more than a few weeks to heal might be infected and require medical treatment, and often indicate an underlying disease such as diabetes.
As Diabetes.co.uk explains: “High levels of blood glucose caused by diabetes can, over time, affect the nerves (neuropathy) and lead to poor blood circulation, making it hard for blood – needed for skin repair – to reach areas of the body affected by sores or wounds.”
While this is an inconvenience in the short-term, slow healing wounds can carry serious health risks in the long-term, increasing the risk of:
- Fungal infections
- Bacterial infections
“Slow healing of wounds, including cuts, grazes and blisters, can be particularly problematic if they affect the feet of someone with diabetes and if not treated properly, can raise the risk of amputation,” warns Diabetes.co.uk.
When to see a doctor
If you notice a cut or burn is taking a long time to heal or showing signs of infection, consult a healthcare professional to have the wound examined, advises the health body.
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How to treat it
Luckily, keeping blood sugar levels in check can help to reduce the risk of slow healing wounds now and further in the future.
Following a healthy diet and keeping active offers the best fight against rising blood sugar levels.
While the NHS says there is nothing you cannot eat if you have type 2 diabetes, limiting your intake of certain foods is an essential part of blood sugar management.
In fact, a recent study conducted at Bispebjerg Hospital in collaboration with, among other partners, found that reduced carbohydrate content and an increased share of protein and fat improves the patient’s ability to regulate his or her blood sugar levels.
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In fact, the study found that the benefits to blood sugar management were seen independent of weight loss.
A tried-and-tested way to reduce your carb intake is to follow the the glycemic index.
The glycemic index is a value assigned to foods based on how slowly or how quickly those foods cause increases in blood glucose levels.
Foods low on the glycemic index (GI) scale tend to release glucose slowly and steadily, whereas foods high on the glycemic index release glucose rapidly.
In addition, engaging in at least 2.5 hours of physical exercise a week can also help to keep rising blood sugar levels at bay.
An added benefit of doing exercise is that it aids weight loss and losing weight (if you’re overweight) will make it easier for your body to lower your blood sugar level, and can improve your blood pressure and cholesterol, explains the NHS.
For optimal blood sugar management, you should aim for at least 2.5 hours of physical exercise a week, advises the health site.
What are the other symptoms of type 2 diabetes?
Other symptoms include:
- Urinating more than usual, particularly at night
- Feeling thirsty all the time
- Feeling very tired
- Losing weight without trying to
- Itching around your penis or vagina, or repeatedly getting thrush
- Blurred vision
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