Diabetes care will be necessary for the rest of a diabetic’s life once he has been diagnosed with it. Since diabetes complications can arise, it is important to take measures to prevent them. Here are ten ways to avoid the complications.
Below are ten measures which can be taken to play an active part in diabetes care as well as to make sure of your future health.
1. Be committed in your diabetes management.
Members of your health care team, such as dietitian, diabetes nurse educator and doctor, will assist you, giving your encouragement and support when you start learning the simple and necessary diabetes care required by you. However, everything depends upon you as it is you who is affected.
Learn everything about diabetes. Take up some kind of physical activity regularly and eat nutritious food. Make sure you have the right weight. Keep your blood glucose level within the normal range. And always get assistance from your health care team whenever necessary.
2. Don’t smoke.
Get your doctor to help you quit smoking, if you find it difficult to stop the habit. Your doctor can suggest ways to quit smoking or stop the use of any kind of tobacco. Smoking can bring on a number of diabetes complications, such as kidney disease, nerve damage, heart attack and stroke. The American Diabetes Association reports that diabetics who are smokers have three times the chances of dying from cardiovascular disease than diabetics who are non-smokers.
3. Control the level of your blood pressure and cholesterol.
Similar to diabetes, hypertension can cause damage to blood vessels. Another worry is your cholesterol level since such damage can be faster and worse when diabetes is present. With all these health problems combined together, life-threatening diseases such as stroke and heart attack can occur.
Hypertension and cholesterol can be better controlled if a diabetic exercise regularly and eat nutritious food.
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4. Have eye examinations often and yearly physical checkups.
Your periodic diabetes examinations are not the same as the yearly physical checkups or regular eye examinations. Searching for diabetes-linked complications such as symptoms of heart disease, nerve damage and kidney damage, as well as other medical conditions is done by a doctor during a physical. Checking for signs and symptoms of glaucoma, cataracts and retina damage will be done by your eye specialist.
5. Keep your vaccines up to date.
With high blood glucose lowering your immunity, vaccines usually taken for a number of health problems become even more necessary. So, consult your doctor about the following:
- Hepatitis B vaccine: Hepatitis B vaccination is now recommended by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for people who have yet to be vaccinated with it and are also diabetics, type 1 as well as type 2, who are between 19 to 59 years of age. However, if you are above the age of 59, suffering from diabetes, and have never been vaccinated before, it is advisable to find out from your doctor whether you should have the vaccination.
- Pneumonia vaccine: Just one shot of the pneumonia vaccine is sufficient sometimes. However, if you are above the age of 64 or suffering from diabetes complications, it is better to get a booster shot which can last you five years.
- Flu vaccine : A flu vaccine given once a year can assist in helping you to avoid the flu even during its season and prevent any severe complications resulting from the flu.
- Other vaccines : Make sure your ten-year tetanus booster shot has not yet expired. Other vaccines may be recommended by your doctor when deemed necessary.
6. Take care of your teeth.
Diabetics are susceptible to infections of the gum. So, every day, you ought to brush your teeth a minimum of two times and floss them once. Have dental exams a minimum of two times each year . And, if your gums ever look swollen or red or bleed, you ought to consult your doctor immediately.
7. Pay attention to your feet.
High blood glucose may lessen the flow of blood to the feet and this leads to nerve damage there. If the problem is given attention, blisters and cuts can turn into severe infections. To avoid such foot problems:
- Use lukewarm water to wash both feet every day.
- The two feet, with special attention to places between your toes, should be dried gently.
- Use lotion to moisturize your ankles and feet.
- Check for swelling, redness, sores, cuts and blisters on your feet every day.
- See your doctor if any problem of the feet, such as a sore, takes more than a few days to show any sign of healing.
8. Take an aspirin a day.
Aspirin lessens the chances of blood-clotting. One aspirin a day can lower the possibility of heart attack as well as stroke which are the major risks you face when you have diabetes. However, it is advisable to find out from your doctor whether the use of an aspirin a day is suitable for you. And if it is suitable, ask him how much you should take.
9. Know how much alcohol you can drink.
Depending upon the quantity of alcohol you consume and whether food accompanies your drink, alcohol can lead to low blood glucose. If you wish to drink, drink only a moderate amount together with some food always.
10. Too much stress is harmful.
If you experience too much stress, you may not carry out your routine of diabetes care. As a result of this stress, your body reacts by sending out certain hormones which can lead to the poor functioning of insulin, and this will not be good for your diabetes. So, avoid too much stress by performing only the really necessary tasks. Learn how to relax and give yourself sufficient rest and sleep.
It is important to be positive. Know that diabetes can be under your control if you are ready to play your part in diabetes care to have a healthy, active life.