Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease in which the pancreas does not produce enough insulin to regulate blood sugar or the insulin it produces is not absorbed by cells. Without the regulating effect of insulin, blood sugar is free to run wild throughout the body. This can lead to diabetic neuropathy – a type of nerve damage that can occur if you have diabetes.
The health organization adds, “This is exacerbated by poor wound healing that occurs in diabetes.”
Other signs of diabetic neuropathy include:
- Tingling or burning sensation
- Sharp pain or cramps
- Increased sensitivity to touch – for some people, even the weight of a bed sheet can be painful.
How to respond
According to the NHS, you should see a general practitioner if you have any of the symptoms of type 2 diabetes or if you are concerned that you have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
“You will need a blood test, which you may have to go to your local health center if it cannot be done at your GP’s office,” explains the health organization.
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The earlier diabetes is diagnosed and treatment started, the better.
As the NHS points out, early treatment reduces the risk of other health problems.
How to treat diabetic neuropathy
The main treatment for diabetic neuropathy and other complications associated with type 2 diabetes is to lower your blood sugar level.
There are two key components to blood sugar control: diet and regular physical activity.
It shows how quickly each food affects your blood sugar (glucose) level when that food is eaten on its own.
Carbohydrates that are quickly broken down by your body and cause blood sugar to rise rapidly have a high GI index.
High GI foods include:
- Sugar and sugary foods
- Sweetened soft drinks
- White bread
- White rice.
Low or medium GI foods break down more slowly and cause blood sugar levels to rise gradually over time.
- Some fruits and vegetables
- Foods made from whole grains, such as oatmeal.