Type 2 diabetes can be a 'devastating diagnosis' says expert
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Type 2 diabetes means your pancreas does not produce enough insulin or the insulin it does produce is not taken up by the cells. The primary role of insulin – a hormone secreted by the pancreas – is to regulate blood sugar levels. Stripped of this moderating mechanism, blood sugar levels rise can rise to dangerous levels.
That’s why it’s imperative to find alternative ways of ridding the body of unwanted blood sugar levels.
One drink arguably trumps all others in this regard and that’s water.
“As water contains no carbohydrate or calories, it is the perfect drink for people with diabetes,” explains Diabetes.co.uk.
Studies have also shown that drinking water could help control blood glucose (sugar) levels.
What’s behind this effect?
Diabetes.co.uk explains: “The bodies of people with diabetes require more fluid when blood glucose levels are high.
“This can lead to the kidneys attempting to excrete excess sugar through urine.”
The health body adds: “Water will not raise blood glucose levels, which is why it is so beneficial to drink when people with diabetes have high blood sugar, as it enables more glucose to be flushed out of the blood.”
It’s worth pointing out that having high blood glucose levels can also increase the risk of dehydration, which is a risk for people with diabetes.
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UK health guidelines say the average Briton should drink six to eight cups or glasses of fluid a day.
General tips to lower blood sugar
Cutting down on carbohydrates that rank high on the glycaemic index (GI) is a surefire way to bring down high blood sugar levels.
The GI 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.
Carbs that are broken down quickly by your body and cause a rapid increase in blood glucose have a high GI rating.
High GI foods include:
- Sugar and sugary foods
- Sugary soft drinks
- White bread
- White rice.
Low or medium GI foods, on the other hand, are broken down more slowly and cause a gradual rise in blood sugar levels over time.
They include some fruit and vegetables, pulses and wholegrain foods, such as porridge oats.
Some low GI foods, such as wholegrain foods, fruit, vegetables, beans and lentils, are foods we should eat as part of a healthy, balanced diet.
However, as the NHS points out, using the GI to decide whether foods or combinations of foods are healthy can be misleading.
“Foods with a high GI are not necessarily unhealthy and not all foods with a low GI are healthy.”
Type 2 diabetes – do you have it?
Many people have type 2 diabetes without realising. This is because symptoms do not necessarily make you feel unwell.
- Peeing 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
- Cuts or wounds taking longer to heal
- Blurred vision.
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