Diabetes type 2: The three main symptoms of high blood sugar levels – what to look for

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Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition whereby the body cannot produce enough of the hormone insulin to regulate blood sugar or the insulin it does produce is not absorbed by the cells. Blood sugar is the main type of sugar you get from eating food – it supplies the body with energy but it must be kept within a certain range. High blood sugar levels can unleash a wave of destruction so it is vital to heed the warning signs of creeping blood sugar levels.

According to Diabetes.co.uk, there are three main symptoms of high blood sugar.

These are:

  • Increased urination
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased hunger.

According to the health body, high blood sugar levels can also contribute to the following symptoms:

  • Regular/above-average urination
  • Weakness or feeling tired
  • Loss of weight
  • Increased thirst
  • Vision blurring.

How to respond

If you experience even the faintest sign of high blood sugar, it is vital that you stabilise your levels.

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The first step is to contact your GP if you recognise the symptoms of high blood sugar because it may result in a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, says the NHS.

“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,” explains the health body.

If you are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you’ll be recommended to overhaul aspects of your lifestyle that may be contributing to high blood sugar.

There are two key components to blood sugar control – diet and exercise.

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There is technically no food group off-limits but you have to watch your carbohydrate intake.

As Harvard Health explains, when people eat a food containing carbohydrates, the digestive system breaks down the digestible ones into sugar, which enters the blood.

In fact, carbohydrate metabolism is important in the development of type 2 diabetes, which occurs when the body can’t make enough insulin or can’t properly use the insulin it makes, notes the health body.

However, not all carbs present the same threat.

Simple carbs, which cover starchy items such as white bread, are broken down more easily so can have a marked effect on blood sugar levels.

Complex carbs, such as wholegrain items, digest more slowly and therefore have a more moderate effect on blood sugar.

The glycaemic index (GI) can help guide you through this risky terrain.

It shows how quickly each food affects your blood sugar (glucose) level when that food is eaten on its own.

Physical exercise helps lower your blood sugar level – you should aim for 2.5 hours of activity a week, advises the NHS.

You can be active anywhere as long as what you’re doing gets you out of breath.

This could be:

  • Fast walking
  • Climbing stairs
  • Doing more strenuous housework or gardening.

How does exercise help?

“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.

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