Diabetes is a major disease. Following your diabetes treatment plan takes round-the-clock dedication. But your efforts are worthwhile. Cautious diabetes care can minimize your risk of severe — even deadly — complications.
Here are 10 methods to take an active role in diabetes care and enjoy a healthier future.
- 1. Make a dedication to managing your diabetes
- 2. Do not smoke
- 3. Keep your high blood pressure and cholesterol under control
- 4. Arrange regular physicals and eye exams
- 5. Keep your vaccines up to date
- 6. Take care of your teeth
- 7. Focus on your feet
- 8. Consider an everyday aspirin
- 9. If you drink alcohol, stop doing it
- 10. Take stress seriously
1. Make a dedication to managing your diabetes
Members of your diabetes care group — doctor or medical care company, diabetes nurse educator, and dietitian, for example — can help you find out the fundamentals of diabetes care and deal assistance along the way. But it’s up to you to manage your condition.
Find out all you can about diabetes. Make healthy eating and exercise part of your daily regimen. Preserve a healthy weight. Screen your blood sugar level level, and follow your doctor’s guidelines for managing your blood glucose level. Ask your diabetes treatment team for help when you require it.
2. Do not smoke
Smoking increases your risk of different diabetes complications, consisting of:
- Reduced blood flow in the legs and feet, which can result in infections, ulcers and possible removal of a body part by surgery (amputation)
- Heart disease
- Eye disease, which can lead to blindness
- Nerve damage
- Kidney disease
Talk to your doctor about methods to help you stop smoking cigarettes or utilizing other types of tobacco.
3. Keep your high blood pressure and cholesterol under control
Like diabetes, hypertension can harm your capillary. High cholesterol is an issue, too, given that the damage is often worse and more fast when you have diabetes. When these conditions collaborate, they can lead to a cardiac arrest, stroke or other dangerous conditions.
Eating a healthy, reduced-fat diet and working out regularly can go a long method toward managing hypertension and cholesterol. Your doctor may likewise advise taking prescription medication.
4. Arrange regular physicals and eye exams
Arrange 2 to 3 diabetes checkups a year, in addition to your yearly physical and regular eye exams.
During the physical, your doctor will ask about your nutrition and activity level and try to find any diabetes-related complications — consisting of signs of kidney damage, nerve damage and heart disease — along with screen for other medical issues.
Your eye care specialist will check for signs of retinal damage, cataracts and glaucoma.
5. Keep your vaccines up to date
High blood sugar can weaken your body immune system, that makes routine vaccines more crucial than ever. Ask your doctor about:
- Flu vaccine. A yearly influenza vaccine can help you remain healthy during influenza season as well as prevent major complications from the flu.
- Pneumonia vaccine. Often the pneumonia vaccine requires only one shot. If you have diabetes complications or you’re age 65 or older, you may need a five-year booster shot.
- Hepatitis B vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the liver disease B vaccine for grownups with diabetes who haven’t formerly received the vaccine and are younger than 60. If you’re age 60 or older and have actually never ever received the liver disease B vaccine, speak with your doctor about whether it’s right for you.
- Other vaccines. Stay up to this day with your tetanus shot. Your doctor may advise other vaccines also.
6. Take care of your teeth
Diabetes may leave you vulnerable to gum infections. Brush your teeth a minimum of twice a day, floss your teeth as soon as a day and schedule dental exams a minimum of two times a year. Call your dentist if your gums bleed or look red or swollen.
7. Focus on your feet
High blood sugar level can decrease blood circulation and damage the nerves in your feet. Left unattended, cuts and blisters can result in major infections. Diabetes can cause pain, tingling or loss of feeling in your feet.
To prevent foot problems:
- Wash your feet daily in lukewarm water. Prevent soaking your feet, as this can lead to dry skin.
- Dry your feet carefully, specifically in between the toes.
- Hydrate your feet and ankles with lotion or petroleum jelly. Do not put oils or creams between your toes — the additional wetness can lead to infection.
- Check your feet daily for calluses, blisters, sores, inflammation or swelling.
- Consult your doctor if you have a sore or other foot problem that doesn’t start to heal within a couple of days.
8. Consider an everyday aspirin
Taking a low dosage of aspirin every day may minimize your risk of cardiac arrest and stroke. Ask your doctor whether daily aspirin therapy is appropriate for you, including which strength of aspirin would be best.
9. If you drink alcohol, stop doing it
Alcohol can cause high or low blood sugar level, depending on how much you drink and whether you eat at the very same time.
10. Take stress seriously
If you’re stressed out, it’s easy to neglect your normal diabetes care routine. The hormonal agents your body may produce in reaction to extended stress may prevent insulin from working effectively, which just makes matters worse. To take control, set limitations. Prioritize your jobs. Discover relaxation methods. Get a lot of sleep.
Above all, remain favorable. Diabetes care is within your control. If you’re prepared to do your part, diabetes won’t stand in the method of an active, healthy life.