Type 2 diabetes symptoms: The warning sign on one side of your face – what to look for
Type 2 diabetes can be latent for many years because the symptoms do not necessarily make you feel unwell. In fact, symptoms only tend to appear once high blood sugar levels – a persistent feature of the condition – start to inflict damage on the body. To understand why this happens, a brief overview of the condition is required.
Type 2 diabetes can mean one of two things: the body doesn’t produce enough insulin, or the body’s cells don’t react to insulin – this is known as insulin resistance.
Insulin is a hormone that regulates the amount of blood sugar – the main type of sugar you obtain through eating food.
This sugar is an important source of energy and provides nutrients to the body’s organs, muscles and nervous system.
However, consistently high blood sugar levels can inflict permanent damage to parts of the body such as the eyes, nerves, kidneys and blood vessels.
Stripped of the moderating effect of insulin, a person with type 2 diabetes is uniquely vulnerable to incurring high blood sugar levels.
High blood sugar levels can injure nerves throughout your body, a process medically referred to as diabetic neuropathy.
There are different forms of neuropathy and they are distinguished by the different nerves damaged.
According to Mayo Clinic, mononeuropathy refers to damage to a specific nerve.
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Specific nerve damage can lead to a paralysis on one side of your face, otherwise known as Bell’s palsy, it says.
Other telltale signs associated with Bell’s palsy include:
- A drooping eyelid or corner of the mouth
- A dry mouth
- A loss of taste
- Eye irritation, such as dryness or more tears
How to stave off the risk of high blood sugar levels
You can stabilise your blood sugar levels by making healthy lifestyle decisions.
Diet forms an essential component of blood sugar control, and, while there’s nothing you cannot eat if you have type 2 diabetes, you’ll have to limit certain foods.
That’s because certain food groups send your blood levels soaring.
One of the worst offenders are foods with a high carbohydrate content such as rice, pasta and flour (therefore including pastry, bread and other dough based foods).
Carbohydrate is broken down into glucose relatively quickly and therefore has a more pronounced effect on blood sugar levels than either fat or protein.
To help identify high and low carb items, you should refer to the Glycemic Index (GI).
The GI index is a relative ranking of carbohydrates in foods according to how they affect blood glucose levels.
Physical exercise also helps lower your blood sugar level.
According to the NHS, you should aim for 2.5 hours of activity a week.
“You can be active anywhere as long as what you’re doing gets you out of breath,” says the health body.
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