Diabetes type 2: Dr Zoe Williams discusses high blood sugar risks
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A loss of sensation in the feet – due to high blood sugars – could disguise an open sore that may be oozing a foul-smelling discharge. This is when using your nose and sight might uncover untreated diabetes. The next time you take a good look at your feet and toes, notice if the skin is “shiny” or “smooth”, advised the charity Diabetes UK. It’s also telling if there is no hair on the big toe, or the feet, if there was hair there previously.
Do the feet look swollen? Are there any open wounds you can see but can’t feel? Is there any sensation in your foot at all?
Tingling, burning, or a dull ache can all be signs of high blood sugars.
Even if the feet have changed colour, are bizarrely cold or hot, or don’t sweat, it’s time to book an appointment with your GP.
Serious foot problems can (and do) lead to amputations if left unattended to.
“It’s good to take time out to sit down and have a proper look at your feet every day,” said Diabetes UK.
When you decide to carve time for this is up to you – what else could be a sign of diabetes?
The symptoms of diabetes gradually creep up on a person, so you may not realise you’re displaying signs if you’ve had them for a long time.
Diabetes UK listed common symptoms of diabetes:
- Going to the toilet a lot, especially at night.
- Being really thirsty.
- Feeling more tired than usual.
- Losing weight without trying to.
- Genital itching or thrush.
- Cuts and wounds take longer to heal.
- Blurred eyesight
- Increased hunger.
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A blood test arranged by your doctor can determine if you have diabetes or not.
A diagnosis is crucial so that a diabetes support team can help you if you have the condition.
Without monitoring your health, and taking the necessary steps to get blood sugar levels under control, serious complications can occur.
“In the worst cases, diabetes can kill you,” warned Diabetes UK. “Each week diabetes causes thousands of complications like stroke, amputation, kidney failure, heart attack and heart failure.”
Pre-diabetes – what does this mean?
A blood test can also determine if you fall into the “pre-diabetes” category.
This is when blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as type 2 diabetes.
Pre-diabetes means you’re at heightened risk of developing diabetes, but you have the power to change course.
Three factors you can change that can lower blood sugar levels are:
- Blood pressure
“Carrying weight around your middle can make it harder for your
body to control the levels of sugar in the blood,” explained the charity.
This is why reducing your waistline can help bring down blood sugar levels, which will also involve losing weight.
Being overweight is also linked to high blood pressure, so by exercising consistently everyday you can dramatically reduce your risk of diabetes.
If you’d like support on your weight loss journey, ask your GP if there’s a diabetes prevention programme you can be added onto.
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