Type 2 diabetes is a serious illness. Left untreated, the disease results in an excess of sugar in the bloodstream, which has some dire consequences. A certain sign while eating may reveal you’ve got the condition.
Diabetes UK states unmanaged type 2 diabetes can lead to autonomic neuropathy.
This is when nerves become damaged or begin to disappear.
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Autonomic neuropathy affects the nerves that carry information to your organs and glands.
An unconscious process, the nerves help to control functions such as stomach emptying, bowel control and heart beating.
Damage to these types of nerves can result in sweating while eating food.
Diabetes UK lists other symptoms of autonomic neuropathy, which include the following:
- Gastroparesis – when food can’t move through the digestive system efficiently. Symptoms of this can include bloating, constipation or diarrhoea
- Loss of bladder control, leading to incontinence
- Irregular heart beats
- Problems with sweating, either a reduced ability to sweat and intolerance to heat or sweating related to eating food (gustatory)
- Impotence (inability to keep an erection)
How does type 2 diabetes happen in the first place?
Type 2 diabetes occurs when the pancreas isn’t able to make enough – or adequate – insulin.
This hormone (insulin) is the key to enable sugar within the bloodstream (sourced from the foods you eat) to enter the cells within your body.
Normally, the cells absorb the sugar and use it to fuel their everyday functions – it’s their energy source to keep on working.
In type 2 diabetes, without enough (or adequate) insulin, cells aren’t able to absorb sugar from the bloodstream.
Over a length of time, sugar continues to build up in the bloodstream – where it’s not meant to be.
High blood sugar levels can result in damage to the small blood vessels which supplies the nerves.
This is how neuropathy (damage to the nerves) becomes a health complication of type 2 diabetes.
Other types of nerve damage include sensory neuropathy and motor neuropathy.
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Sensory neuropathy is when the nerves that carry messages of touch, temperature and pain are damaged.
It mainly affects the nerves in the feet and legs, but it can also develop in people’s arms and hands.
Diabetes UK state symptoms can include the following:
- Tingling and numbness
- Loss of ability to feel pain
- Loss of ability to detect changes in temperature
- Loss of coordination – when you lose your joint position sense
- Burning or shooting pains – these may be worse at night time.
When people with type 2 diabetes aren’t able to feel their feet, they may not notice when an infection from a cut, or ulcer, appears.
Motor neuropathy affects the nerves that control movement.
Damage to these nerves can result in problems with muscle weakness – even making the task of fastening a button very challenging.
It can also lead to muscle wasting, twitching and cramps.
To check if you have type 2 diabetes, get a simple blood test done at your local GP’s surgery.
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