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Diabetes is a chronic disease in which the levels of glucose, or sugar, in the blood are higher than they should be, and there is not enough insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas to control it. Unfortunately there are complications that can come along with diabetes if it is not managed safely causing long-term illness.
Below we will discuss some ways to avoid these diabetes complications by taking extra caution with your health.
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Here are the 8 ways you can avoid diabetes complications:
1. Keep your blood pressure down.
It is important to maintain blood pressure to prevent heart attacks, strokes, damage to your kidneys, and eyes. If blood pressure gets too high, it may be causing your heart to work too hard. For most people with diabetes the goal is 140/90, however please consult with your physician.
One of the key elements to lowering your blood pressure is to eat less salt. This extra salt that is in your diet may be coming from prepared foods like bread, cereal, and pre-made meals. Be sure to read labels on food items and choose low sodium options. Other ways to maintain your blood pressure levels include drinking less alcohol, eating more fruits and vegetables, and becoming more active.
2. Maintain cholesterol levels.
Cholesterol is often a misunderstood term. It is a form of fat; however there are two different levels that need to be maintained for healthy heart and blood vessels.
Now that you know the different types of cholesterol levels you might be wondering how to maintain these levels. Have your doctor test your cholesterol often to make sure that you are at a healthy range. If you are not at a healthy range you may need to quit smoking, lose weight, exercise more often, or eat a low-fat, low-carb diet. It might be important for you to discuss different medication options with your doctor to help maintain your cholesterol.
3. Pay attention to your feet.
Diabetes can cause you to lose feeling in your feet creating a numb or tingling sensation. This becomes dangerous because you may not know if your feet are in pain. It is also important to pay attention to your feet to see if you have any cuts, sores, or ulcers that do not seem to be healing in an appropriate amount of time.
It is important for diabetics to take extra caution with their feet. Protect your feet by wearing socks and shoes at all times, even when you are indoors. When you get the chance to sit down be sure to put your feet up, don’t cross your legs, and wiggle your toes to keep the blood flowing. It is important to clean and check your feet daily, to keep trimmed toenails, and to make sure that your feet are cleaned and smooth. Caring for your feet will help you to make sure that you do not lose a toe, foot, or leg.
4. Take care of your teeth.
Diabetics can create too much glucose, which in turn can cause harm to your mouth. High glucose levels in your saliva can cause harmful bacteria to grow, leading to tooth decay, cavities, gum disease, and bad breath.
It is important to check your mouth daily for signs of problems including swollen, tender, or bleeding gums. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, and after meals with starchy or sugary snacks. Gently brush your teeth with a soft toothbrush angled towards the gum line. Fluoride mouth rinse and toothpaste help protect your mouth from tooth decay. And of course, floss daily!
5. Get regular eye exams.
Unfortunately diabetes does create a higher risk of blindness, however most people with diabetes have nothing more than some minor eye disorders. There are three major complications including Retinopathy, Cataracts, and Glaucoma that are common for diabetics.
It is especially important to regularly visit your eye doctor if you have diabetes to screen for any potential complications. Controlling your blood pressure and your blood sugar levels will help in keeping your eyes healthy. If you keep your eye doctor in the loop with how many years you have had diabetes, which type you have, and how you maintain your diabetes they can help you out of eye trouble and maintain any minor problems.
6. Maintain a stable diet and exercise routine.
It shouldn’t be news at this point that maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly can create a healthier, longer life; however this is especially true for someone with diabetes. Making those healthy meal choices can help keep your glucose levels under control. It is important to keep meals low in fat, salt, and sugar. Try to eat foods that that are high in fiber including beans, fruit, vegetables, and whole grains. If you have the ability to hire a dietitian they can help you with meal planning for your whole family to be eating healthy.
Getting regular physical activity into your routine is important, however this does not mean that you have to join a gym or start lifting weights. It is important for people with diabetes to exercise to help improve glucose levels, manage weight, and give you more energy throughout the day. Find a friend to go on a walk around your neighborhood, do extra housework, or work in your garden to get physically active.
7. Find a stable support system for extra care and education.
It is important to find people that you can turn to for extra help, education, and care when you are living with diabetes. It may be helpful to have your family close by to help care for you when you are not feeling well. It also may be wise to find a support group to ask questions and discuss different complications you have run into with the disease. This extra care can help you continually learn and manage diabetes.
8. Find some stress reducing activities.
Unfortunately we all encounter stressful situations throughout our life, but it is important to maintain stress levels if you have diabetes. When stress enters the situation our bodies prepare to take action creating hormones to rise. Unfortunately when diabetes is in the mix the insulin is not always able to let the extra energy our bodies have created into the cells, so glucose piles up in the blood. Stress harms diabetes management by impairing sound thinking and decision-making, creating strong negative emotions, encouraging compulsive eating habits. It can impact the immune system, digestive system, Kidneys, and reproductive system.
It is important to find out what helps you relieve your stress to keep control of your diabetes management. Learn how to relax by going to therapy, taking breathing classes, or doing something you enjoy. Find someone to talk to about your stressful situation to get their opinion or listening ear. Exercise or start a hobby to keep your mind focused on something other than your stress.
While diabetes cannot be prevented or cured, it can be managed and controlled properly with taking several steps to live a healthy life. If you are worried about your current care management plan or personal care levels contact a Fedelta representative to discuss care plans. We want to make sure that you are living well with diabetes and thanks to better treatments and care plans people with diabetes can live longer with a better quality of life.
If you or a loved one are trying to avoid diabetes complications it is important to make sure that you have the right care in place. Be sure to take the right steps to healthy living. Read more about how Fedelta can help you or a loved one with diabetes management.