Type 2 diabetes is prevalent in the UK, with around 3.5 million people living with it. If you factor in the number of people likely living with undiagnosed diabetes, the figure is upwards of four million, according to Diabetes.co.uk. The reason for this discrepancy is because many people will live with diabetes without realising it.
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Type 2 diabetes symptoms can be either too subtle to notice or nonexistent, especially in the initial stages.
In fact, the condition is usually picked up during a routine examination for something else.
Symptoms may eventually appear when a person’s blood sugar levels are consistently too high.
High blood sugar levels is a common characteristic of type 2 diabetes.
It is the result of the pancreas not producing enough of a hormone called insulin which regulates the amount of sugar you obtain by eating food.
High blood sugar levels, if left untreated, can damage parts of the body, and, when this happens, the body may undergo a number of noticeable changes.
One warning sign is difficulty rising from a sitting position, according to Mayo Clinic.
This difficulty is the result of high blood sugar levels affecting nerves in the thighs, hips, buttocks or legs.
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Other signs of this bodily malfunction include:
- Severe pain in a hip and thigh or buttock
- Eventual weak and shrinking thigh muscles
- Severe stomach pain
How to treat it
“Consistently keeping your blood sugar within your target range is the key to preventing or delaying nerve damage,” explains Mayo Clinic.
There are two key components involved in stabilising blood sugar levels.
A healthy diet and keeping active will help you manage your blood sugar level.
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Key dietary tips
There’s nothing you cannot eat if you have type 2 diabetes, but you’ll have to limit certain foods.
Foods with a high carbohydrate content will send blood sugar levels soaring so it is important to limit your intake.
Carbohydrate is broken down into glucose relatively quickly and therefore has a more pronounced effect on blood sugar levels than either fat or protein.
The NHS also recommends the following dietary tips:
- Keep sugar, fat and salt to a minimum
- Eat breakfast, lunch and dinner every day – do not skip meals
Physical exercise helps lower your blood sugar level.
According to the NHS, you should aim for two and a half hours of activity a week.
“You can be active anywhere as long as what you’re doing gets you out of breath,” says the health body’s website.
This could be:
- Fast walking
- Climbing stairs
- Doing more strenuous housework or gardening.
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