Type 2 diabetes is prevalent in the UK – just shy of four million people live with it. When taking into account the number of undiagnosed people, this number is closer to five million, based on research conducted by Diabetes UK. The huge disparity between diagnosed and undiagnosed patients is in part attributed to the scarcity of symptoms in the initial stages.
Type 2 diabetes rarely makes you feel ill in the beginning so many people shrug it off and do not attach the dots.
This oversight means that when symptoms do appear, they can be altogether more sinister than if the condition had been identified and treated at the onset.
The reason symptoms become more acute as the condition progresses is that high blood sugar levels – a complication of type 2 diabetes – start to damage parts of the body such as the eyes, nerves, kidneys and blood vessels.
When this happens, a number of unsettling symptoms may bubble up to the surface.
In rare cases, this internal damage may cause blisters to erupt on the surface.
“Diabetic blisters can occur on the backs of fingers, hands, toes, feet and sometimes on legs or forearms,” explains the American Diabetes Association (ADA).
According to the ADA, these sores look like burn blisters and often occur in people who have diabetic neuropathy.
Diabetic neuropathy is a type of nerve damage whereby high blood sugar levels injure nerves throughout your body.
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“They are sometimes large, but they are painless and have no redness around them,” the health body explains.
It adds: “They heal by themselves, usually without scars, in about three weeks.”
How to treat the symptom
Bringing high blood sugar levels under control will address the symptom and help to stave off the risk of further complications.
There are two key aspects to managing your blood sugar levels – diet and keeping active.
One handy tip in the short-term is to drink plenty of water, according to Diabetes.co.uk.
The health body explains: “When your blood sugar levels are running high, your body will try to flush excess sugar out of your blood through the urine.
“As a result, your body will need more fluids to rehydrate itself. Drinking water can help the body with flushing out some of the glucose in the blood.”
Generally, you should try to avoid eating foods with a high carbohydrate content because this can cause blood sugar spikes.
To distinguish high carb from 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.
Carbohydrates with a low GI value (55 or less) are more slowly digested, absorbed and metabolised and cause a lower and slower rise in blood glucose and, therefore usually, insulin levels.
To stabilise blood sugar levels, you should also aim for 2.5 hours of exercise a week, according to the NHS.
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