Managing diabetes is more than just gaining control of your blood sugar level. Too much sugar can cause damage to blood vessels and nerves. Eventually things can evolve into additional problems.
In this article, we will explore useful tips to help diabetes patients avoid complications which are related to the condition which can lead to improved overall health.
COMMON DIABETES COMPLICATIONS
Diabetes can impact vision and even cause issues such as cataracts, glaucoma and retinopathy.
Through years of high blood sugar, this can effect nerves and blood vessels which take care of the heart. High blood pressure and cholesterol are contributing factors. These complications can eventually lead to heart failure early and eventually strokes or heart attacks.
Diabetes can also affect the blood vessels in the kidneys and their efficiency. With prolonged complications they may even stop working.
With high blood sugar, this can impact the blood flow in the body and damage nerves. Scraps, sores and cuts will take longer to heal. Patients may lose feeling in their feet which may stop from noticing injuries or infections. In some cases, infections get so bad that they may require amputation.
With the damage caused to nerves in the body, referred to as diabetic neuropathy, this may lead to pain, numbness and tingling in certain body parts such as the feet.
Diabetes can also lead to skin related issues such as itching, brown or scaly patches and infections.
Since high blood sugar can affect blood flow and damaged nerves in the body, since men often experience erectile issues.
HOW TO REDUCE THE RISK OF COMPLICATIONS
It’s important to take your diabetes seriously to avoid what could result in potential life threatening consequences.
First and foremost, it’s the most important step anyone can take is to commit to managing their condition by making conscious dietary choices and incorporating physical exercise.
To reduce the risk of diabetes complications you can follow apply these health tips to your daily routine.
Manage your blood sugar levels.
Managing your blood sugar levels is extremely to follow protocols such as taking prescription insulin as recommended by your doctor.
- Before meals – Between 70-130 mg/dL
- Less than 180 mg/dL 2 hours after you start a meal
- Glycated hemoglobin or A1C level around 7%
- Watch your blood pressure and cholesterol. If they’re too high, you’re more likely to get other health problems like heart disease.
- Try to keep your BP below 140/90 and your total cholesterol at or below 200. Your doctor may prescribe medication.
Manage your blood pressure
Similar to managing blood sugar levels, high blood pressure can lead to damaged blood vessels and worsen over time. If neglected can lead to heart attack or stroke.
By eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly can help control blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Your doctor may prescribe medication if needed.
Smoking can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes in addition to other complications. It should go unsaid that smoking harms your health. For diabetics, smoking can affect blood flow and raise blood pressure. Speak to your doctor about available treatments to help you quit.
Alcohol can lead to high or low blood sugar depending on the amount consumed. If you choose to drink be sure to do so in moderation especially for those older than 65 years of age. Always have a snack or meal with your drink.
Protect your eyes
Go for a yearly eye test and have a doctor check for any damage or conditions. An eye care specialist will check for any signs of cataracts, glaucoma or retinal damage.
Check your feet daily
Examine your feet for any scrapes, blisters, sores, ingrown toenails, cuts, swelling or redness. Exercise proper foot hygiene by washing thoroughly and use lotion on dry skin.
Stress can have a detrimental impact on your health. Get proper sleep, stay positive and learn relaxation techniques to cope with stress. Understand that diabetes can be managed if you live an active and healthy lifestyle.
Exercise skin care
Keep your skin clean and moisturized. If there are parts of your body that chafe, use talcum powder so that the skin doesn’t rub together. Avoid hot showers/baths and using soaps that may dry the skin. Purchase a humidifier for your bedroom if you find the air is too dry.
Consider taking a daily aspirin
A low dose of aspirin can help those with diabetes or have cardiovascular issues especially for smokers. An aspirin can help reduce the chances of having a heart attack or stroke. Talk to your doctor about whether you should take a aspirin as part of your daily regimen.