Diabetes causes a person’s blood sugar levels to become too high, which must be handled carefully to prevent further complications. Unfortunately, the condition doesn’t always produce obvious symptoms. Excessive sweating at night, however, could be a sign that high blood sugar has damaged the nerves.
Excessive can both be a sign of low blood sugar levels and blood sugar damage to nerves.
The most common reason for unusual sweating in people with the condition, however, is diabetes-related nervous system damage.
According to the American Diabetes Association, approximately half of people with diabetes experience some level of nerve damage.
When nerve damage occurs, known as autonomic neuropathy, it occasionally affects the sweat glands.
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High blood sugar and high levels of fat, such as triglycerides, can damage the nerves or the blood vessels that nourish the nerves.
This may produce several different symptoms depending on which of the body’s functions are affected.
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases says: “Damage to the nerves that control your sweat glands may cause you to sweat a lot at night or while eating.
“Your sweat glands may not work at all, or certain parts of your body may sweat while other parts are dry.
“If your sweat glands do not work properly, your body may not be able to control its temperature.”
Sometimes nerve damage prevents signals from being sent to different parts of the body, which can result in numbness.
Other types of discomfort may occur, such as sharp pains, cramps, muscle weakness or sensitivity to touch.
Depending on the nerves affected, neuropathy can cause these sensations in the hands, feet, and legs.
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says: “Nerve damage can cause health problems ranging from mild numbness to pain that makes it hard to do normal activities.”
How to prevent diabetes
There are several steps that can help prevent diabetes, but the most logical starting point is diet.
It is advisable to choose whole grain products over refined grained ones and other highly processed carbohydrates.
This is because refined carbohydrates can increase blood triglycerides, and blood sugar levels and cause insulin resistance, which are major risk factors for diabetes.
There are also many benefits to regular physical activity for blood sugar control, as it can help keep them within a healthy range for up to 48 hours.
Plants, which provide a wealth of vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates, are good energy sources for the body.
Dietary fibre can also slow the absorption of sugars and interfere with the absorption of dietary cholesterol.
These food sources also promote weight loss, which in turn may lower the risk of diabetes.