Diabetes type 2: Dr Zoe Williams discusses high blood sugar risks
Diabetes type 2 is a chronic condition whereby the threat of high blood sugar levels is ever-present. Blood sugar – the main type of sugar you get from food – supplies the body with energy but it must stay below a certain level. High blood sugar levels can cause irreversible damage if left untreated.
Unfortunately, if you have type 2 diabetes, the main regulating force against blood sugar does not function properly.
Without quality insulin production, blood sugar levels can rise unimpeded, causing a slew of unsettling symptoms.
Polyuria when you go to the toilet is a sign your blood sugar levels are consistently too high.
Polyuria is a condition where the body urinates more than usual and passes excessive or abnormally large amounts of urine each time you urinate.
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According to Diabetes.co.uk, when the level of sugar in the blood is abnormally high, not all of the sugar can be reabsorbed and some of this excess glucose from the blood ends up in the urine where it draws more water.
“When this happens, the kidneys will also filter out more water and you will need to urinate more than usual as a result,” explains the health body.
If you are concerned about the amount you urinate and think you may have polyuria, you should make a note each day of how much you drink; how often you urinate and how much urine you produce every time you go to the toilet, it adds.
How to respond
The key to lowering blood sugar levels is to make healthy lifestyle changes, namely modifying your diet and pursuing an exercise programme.
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There’s nothing you cannot eat if you have type 2 diabetes, but you’ll have to limit certain foods.
Simple carbohydrates in particular are broken down quickly by the body and therefore raise blood sugar levels quickly.
Complex carbohydrates, on the other hand, take longer to digest – which means they have less of an immediate impact on blood sugar, causing it to rise more slowly.
The glycaemic index (GI) can help you distinguish complex carbs from simple carbs.
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.
Carbohydrate foods 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 are broken down more slowly and cause a gradual rise in blood sugar levels over time.
- They include:
- Some fruit and vegetables
- Wholegrain foods, such as porridge oats.
Regular exercise is also integral to blood sugar control.
The Mayo Clinic explains: “Exercise draws on reserve sugar stored in your muscles and liver. As your body rebuilds these stores, it takes sugar from your blood.”
For the best health benefits, experts recommend at least 150 minutes a week of moderately intense physical activities, says the health body.
- Fast walking
- Lap swimming
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