Diabetes type 2 symptoms: Three painful sensations in the feet that signal blood sugar

Type 2 diabetes can be a 'devastating diagnosis' says expert

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Type 2 diabetes means your body does not produce enough insulin or the insulin it does produce is not absorbed by the cells. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar – the main type of sugar found in blood. If left unregulated, blood sugar levels spiral out of control, inflicting damage on the body.

Some of the most obvious signs of this destruction show up in your feet.

This is a result of peripheral neuropathy – damage to the nerves in the body’s extremities, such as the feet.

According to an article published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), “painful sensations” can signal neuropathy.

“Commonly they [patients] complain of paraesthesia,” explains the article.

Paresthesia is characterised by numbness.

According to the BMJ article, “the symptoms may not cause too much distress but they may take the form of unremitting pain”.

According to the article, a “burning sensation” in the feet also typifies peripheral neuropathy.

How to respond

“You should see a GP if you have any of the symptoms of type 2 diabetes or you’re worried you may have a higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes,” advises the NHS. 

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A GP can diagnose diabetes.

“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 NHS.

What’s more, the earlier diabetes is diagnosed and treatment started, the better.

“Early treatment reduces your risk of other health problems,” notes the NHS.

How to alleviate symptoms

The primary response to painful diabetes symptoms is to lower blood sugar levels.

You can lower your blood sugar levels by overhauling unhealthy aspects of your lifestyle – namely, poor diet and inactivity.

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

That’s because certain foods have a more marked impact on blood sugar levels.

The ones to watch are carbohydrates, which are broken down into blood glucose (sugar) relatively fast.

The worst offenders rank high on the glycaemic index (GI) – 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.

They include:

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

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