Take care of your Diabetes issues: Daily care tips
When diabetes gets out of control, it may take a toll on your body. Too much sugar in your blood can damage nerves and blood vessels, which can result in many distinct types of problems.
But those complications aren’t set in stone for everyone with diabetes — there’s a lot you can do to avoid them. Along with treatment, good health habits can help you keep your disease under control and keep other issues at bay.
What Diabetes Can Do
High blood sugar can impact different parts of your body:
Eyes. Diabetes raises your odds of having vision problems, including blindness. It can cause:
Cataracts. The lens of your eye becomes cloudy.
Glaucoma. This damage to the nerve that connects your attention to your mind keeps you from seeing well.
Retinopathy. This entails changes to the retina in the back of your eyes.
Heart. Years of high blood glucose may damage your body’s blood vessels. That increases your chance of getting heart disease, which can lead to heart attacks or strokes in the future. High blood pressure and high cholesterol make the problems even more likely.
Kidneys. Diabetes can affect blood vessels in your kidneys, too, so they might not work as well. After a long time of trouble, they might stop working.
Feet. High blood sugar can damage blood flow and damage nerves, which may cause cuts, scrapes, or sores to heal slowly. You will lose some feeling in your feet, which prevents you from noticing injuries that can get infected. When an infection becomes serious, it might mean you will need to get a foot removed.
Nerves. If high blood sugar damages your nerves, known as diabetic neuropathy, you may feel pain, tingling, or numbness, especially in your feet.
Skin. Diabetes may make you more likely to have yeast infections, itching, or brown or scaly patches.
Erection problems. Men with diabetes may be at risk for sexual problems because high blood sugar can damage blood circulation and damage nerves that the body needs to get and keep an erection.
How to Decrease Your Risk
Good habits go a long way toward preventing the other health problems that diabetes can cause. Make these tips part of your regular health routine:
Keep tight control of your blood sugar. It’s the perfect way to avoid diabetes complications. Your levels should remain in such Healthful ranges as much as possible:
Between 70 and 130 mg/dL before meals
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 acquire other health problems, like heart disease. Try to keep your BP below 140/90, and your total cholesterol at or below 200 mg/dL.
Get regular checkups.
Your physician can check your blood, urine, and do other tests to spot any problems. These visits are particularly important since many diabetes complications don’t have clear warning signs.
Don’t smoke. Lighting up harms your blood flow and increases blood pressure. If you want help to quit, your doctor can recommend treatments that might work for you.
Protect your eyes. Obtain a yearly eye exam. Your doctor can search for diseases or damage.
Check your feet every day. Look for any cuts, sores, scrapes, blisters, ingrown toenails, redness, or swelling. Wash and dry your feet carefully each day. Use lotion to prevent dry skin or cracked heels. Wear shoes on hot pavement or on the shore, and socks and shoes in cold weather. Test bath water before getting in to avoid burns on your toes. Keep your toenails trimmed and filed directly across.
Take care of your skin. Keep it clean and dry. Use talcum powder in places where skin may rub together, like your armpits. Do not take very hot showers or baths, or use drying soaps or bath gels. Moisturize your skin with body and hand lotion. Stay warm in cold winter months. Use a humidifier in your bedroom if it feels too dry.