Diabetes type 2 symptoms: Loose and watery poo may signal high blood sugar levels

Diabetes type 2: Dr Zoe Williams discusses high blood sugar risks

There are 3.9 million people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK but this number does not reflect the actually number of people currently living with the chronic condition. It is estimated that almost one million people with type 2 diabetes don’t know they have it because they haven’t been diagnosed. This disparity owes in part to the absence or subtlety of symptoms in the initial stages.

For many people, type 2 diabetes does not become perceptible under the body starts responding to uncontrolled blood sugar levels.

Blood sugar is the main type of sugar you get from eating food. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels but if you have diabetes, the body cannot properly process insulin.

One major warning sign of controlled blood sugar levels is diarrhoea, according to Diabetes.co.uk.

Diarrhoea is defined as passing loose, watery stools more than three times a day.

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How does high blood sugar levels cause diarrhoea?

Over time, high blood sugar levels can cause autonomic neuropathy – damage to nerves that control your internal organs, including your heart, digestive system, bladder, eyes, and sex organs.

As Diabetes.co.uk explains, autonomic neuropathy damages the nerves that control the movements of the large intestine.

“If the large intestine is affected by nerve damage, you may experience alternating periods of constipation and diarrhoea,” the health body.

It adds: “If you have autonomic neuropathy, it is important to keep your blood glucose levels under control as best as you can to help prevent further nerve damage.”

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How to lower high blood sugar levels

A healthy diet and keeping active will help you manage your blood sugar level.

A common misconception is that diabetics have to follow a strict diet to keep high blood sugar levels at bay.

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

Carbohydrates are the main offenders. Carbs are broken down quickly by your body and cause a rapid increase in blood glucose.

The glycaemic index (GI) can help you to separate the good from the bad.

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.

High GI foods include:

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

Low or medium GI foods are broken down more slowly and cause a gradual rise in blood sugar levels over time.

They include:

  • Some fruit and vegetables
  • Pulses
  • Wholegrain foods, such as porridge oats.

Physical exercise helps lower your blood sugar level – you should aim for 2.5 hours of activity a week, advises the NHS.

You can be active anywhere as long as what you’re doing gets you out of breath.

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