Diabetes: 9 ways to avoid complications

Diabetes management is a lifelong responsibility. Here are 9 strategies to prevent diabetes complications.

Diabetes is a serious disease. Following your diabetes treatment plan requires ongoing commitment. But your efforts are worth it. Careful treatment of diabetes can reduce the risk of serious and even fatal complications.

  • Commit to managing your diabetes
  • Members of your diabetes care team, doctor, nurse, dietitian, for example, can help you learn the basics of diabetes care and offer support along the way. But it’s up to you to manage your condition.

    Learn all you can about diabetes. Incorporate healthy eating and physical activity into your daily routine. Maintain a healthy weight.

    Monitor your blood sugar levels and follow your doctor’s instructions for managing your blood sugar levels.

  • Do not smoke
  • Smoking increases the risk of type 2 diabetes and the risk of various diabetes complications, including:

    – reduced blood circulation in the legs and feet, which can lead to infections, ulcers and the possible removal of a part of the body by surgery (amputation)

    • – Heart disease
    • – stroke
    • – Eye diseases, which can lead to blindness
    • – Nerve damage
    • – Kidney diseases
    • – Premature death

    Talk to your doctor about ways to help you quit smoking.

  • Control your blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Like diabetes, high blood pressure can damage blood vessels. High cholesterol is also a concern, as the damage is often greater and faster when you have diabetes. When these conditions combine, they can lead to heart attack, stroke, or other fatal illnesses.

    A healthy, low-fat diet and regular exercise can go a long way in controlling high blood pressure and cholesterol.

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  • Schedule regular physical and eye exams
  • Schedule two to four diabetes check-ups per year, in addition to your annual routine physical and eye exams.

    During the physical exam, your doctor will ask about your diet and activity level and will look for any diabetes-related complications, including signs of kidney damage, nerve damage, and heart disease, as well as signs of diabetes. other medical problems.

    Your eye care specialist will check for signs of retinal damage, cataracts, and glaucoma.

  • Take care of your teeth
  • Diabetes can make you vulnerable to gum infections. Brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, floss once a day, and schedule dental checkups at least twice a year. Call your dentist if your gums bleed or look red or swollen.

  • Pay attention to your feet
  • High sugar levels can reduce blood circulation and damage the nerves in the feet. If left untreated, cuts and blisters can lead to serious infections. Diabetes can cause pain, tingling or loss of feeling in the feet.

    To prevent foot problems:

    – Wash your feet daily with lukewarm water. Avoid soaking your feet, as this can lead to dry skin.

    – Dry your feet gently, especially between the toes.

    – Hydrate your feet and ankles. Do not put oil or cream between your toes, as the extra moisture can cause infection.

    – Examine your feet daily for calluses, blisters, sores, redness or swelling.

    – Consult your doctor if you have a sore or other foot problem that does not begin to heal within a few days. If you have a foot ulcer, an open sore, see your doctor right away.

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    – Do not walk barefoot, indoors or outdoors.

  • Consider taking an aspirin daily
  • If you have diabetes and other cardiovascular risk factors, such as smoking or high blood pressure, your doctor may recommend that you take a low dose of aspirin each day to help reduce your risk of heart attack and heart attack. stroke. If you don’t have other cardiovascular risk factors, the risk of bleeding from taking aspirin probably outweighs any benefits of aspirin. Ask your doctor if daily aspirin therapy is right for you, including what strength aspirin is best.

  • If you drink alcohol, do it responsibly
  • Alcohol can cause high blood sugar or low blood sugar, depending on how much you drink and whether you eat at the same time. If you choose to drink, do so in moderation, meaning no more than one drink per day for women of all ages and men over 65 and two drinks per day for men over 65. 65 and under.

    Always drink with a meal or snack and remember to include the calories from the alcohol you consume in your daily calorie intake. Also be aware that alcohol can lead to low blood sugar later, especially for people who use insulin.

  • Take stress seriously
  • If you’re stressed, it’s easy to neglect your regular diabetes care routine. To manage your stress, set limits. Prioritize your tasks. Learn relaxation techniques.

    Get enough sleep. And above all, stay positive. Diabetes care is in your control. If you’re willing to do your part, diabetes won’t stop you from leading a healthy, active life.

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