Diabetes: Signs of high blood sugar damage that can ‘show up’ around the mouth and nose

Type 2 diabetes can be a 'devastating diagnosis' says expert

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Diabetes can have devastating outcomes if left unmanaged, so catching the warning signs early will hold you in good stead. When symptoms arise, they tend to reflect higher-than-normal blood sugar levels. They often go unnoticed in the early stages due to their mild nature. But advanced blood sugar damage could cause one skin condition that may be apparent on the eyes, nose and mouth.

Diabetes occurs when the body stops taking up blood sugar to convert it to energy, causing a sudden surge in blood glucose levels.

One of the harshest consequences of high blood sugar levels is the destruction of nerves, but cells in the skin may also be at risk.

Some of these cells contain a pigment that gives skin its colour, so when this pigment disappears, the skin appears white, causing a condition known as vitiligo.

WebMD explains: “This condition affects your skin colour. It’s more common with type 1 diabetes.

READ MORE: ‘Surprising’: The diet that could slash high cholesterol and blood sugar levels over time

“With vitiligo, the cells that make the substance that gives your skin colours, melanin are destroyed.

“Patches of skin look discoloured. They often appear on the chest and stomach. But they can also show on the face around the mouth, nose and eyes.

“Steroid creams, ultraviolet light treatments, and micro-pigmentation are a few treatment options. Use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to prevent sunburn on your discoloured skin.”

One study on the prevalence of vitiligo in patients among type 2 diabetic patients found 12 percent of patients included in the study to be affected by the condition.

The experiment included 600 patients with type 2 diabetes and non-diabetic adult volunteers, who were included as controls.

“A complete history, physical examination, and wood’s lamp examination to detect vitiligo were conducted,” noted the authors.

The authors noted that the condition occurs more commonly in type 1 diabetics, but increasing evidence is showing an increased occurrence of the skin manifestation in type 2 diabetics.

High blood sugar levels associated with type 2 diabetes can have immediate effects on the body, wreaking havoc on the body’s organs, including the skin.

In extreme cases, damage can lead to irreversible nerve damage which may require amputation or result in death.

The most blatant signs of blood glucose damage include excessive thirst, blurry vision and increased hunger.

But the manifestations can occur in many other ways too, causing strange sensations in the extremities of the body, such as tingling in the hands and feet.

How to prevent diabetes

Evidence is growing that where lifestyle is the cause of diabetes, the condition can be reversed through efficient weight gain, and this information is equally relevant for individuals trying to avoid it.

Health experts suggest adhering to diets that focus on whole grain products, instead of other processed carbohydrates.

This is because simple carbs are broken down into sugar inside the body, causing major spikes in glucose.

Drinking water enables the body to flush out this glucose, so drinking it regularly is also widely encouraged to prevent diabetes.

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