Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition whereby a person’s blood sugar levels keep rising. Blood sugar, or glucose, is the main sugar found in blood. The body obtains blood sugar from eating food and it is needed for energy and nutrients. High blood sugar levels can damage blood vessels that supply vital organs, however.
One study reported that a bilberry extract reduced blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes more effectively than a placebo.
The extract provided the equivalent of 50 grams of fresh bilberries.
Another eight-week study showed that a diet enriched with fresh bilberries increased insulin secretion in adults with metabolic syndrome; a cluster of conditions that increases your risk of type 2 diabetes, stroke, and heart disease.
Experts believe that the berries prevent the breakdown and absorption of carbohydrates in your gut, similarly to some blood-sugar-lowering medications.
You can be active anywhere as long as what you’re doing gets you out of breath.
Type 2 diabetes – how to spot it
Many people have type 2 diabetes without realising – this is because symptoms do not necessarily make you feel unwell.
Symptoms of type 2 diabetes can include:
- Peeing more than usual, particularly at night
- Feeling thirsty all the time
- Feeling very tired
- Losing weight without trying to
- Itching around your penis or vagina, or repeatedly getting thrush
- Cuts or wounds taking longer to heal
- Blurred vision.
The NHS recommends seeing a GP if:
- You have any of the symptoms of type 2 diabetes
- You’re worried you may have a higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes.