Diabetes type 2: Seven most 'common' symptoms – American Diabetes Association

The main mechanism that underpins type 2 diabetes is a breakdown in the way the body produces a hormone called insulin. The hormone regulates blood sugar – the main sugar found in your blood. Without the regulatory force of insulin, blood sugar levels are left to rise and this can prove highly destructive.

However, as the health body points out, you should see a GP straight away if you have any symptoms of diabetes.

“What the GP will discuss with you during your appointment depends on the diagnosis and the treatment they recommend,” it explains.

Generally, they’ll talk to you about:

  • What diabetes is
  • What high blood sugar means for your health
  • Whether you need to take medicine
  • Your diet and exercise
  • Your lifestyle – for example, alcohol and smoking.

How to treat type 2 diabetes

The primary response to type 2 diabetes symptoms is to lower high blood sugar levels.

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Lifestyle changes are key – a healthy diet and keeping active will help you manage your blood sugar level.

There’s nothing you cannot eat if you have type 2 diabetes, but you’ll have to limit certain foods.

The ones to watch are carbohydrates because they are broken down into blood sugar (glucose) relatively quickly and therefore have a more pronounced effect on blood sugar levels than either fat or protein.

“Carbohydrate is found, to varying degrees in a wide variety of food, notably in starchy foods such as rice, pasta and flour (therefore including pastry, bread and other dough based foods),” explains Diabetes.co.uk.

The health body continues: “Carbohydrate is generally found in all fruits and vegetables, however, the amounts of carbohydrate can vary substantially.

“Carbohydrate is generally found, at least to some degrees, in all fruits and vegetables.”

As it points out, the carb content can “vary substantially” from vegetable to vegetable and the same can be said for fruits.

The glycaemic index (GI) can help you to sort carbs into different categories.

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.

These include:

  • Sugar and sugary foods
  • Sugary soft drinks
  • White bread
  • Potatoes
  • White rice.

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