Avoiding Diabetic Complications
Diabetes affects your whole body, from your head to your toes. Complications can arise if your diabetes is not well-controlled. Here are some of the best ways to keep your body healthy when you have diabetes.
Practice good skin care techniques. Persons with diabetes are more prone to itchy, dry, and cracked skin which can become easily infected if not treated properly. Here are a few ways to help your skin stay healthy:
• Keep your skin clean and dry
• Avoid very hot baths and showers
• Treat cuts right away
• During the winter, keep the humidity higher
• Use mild shampoo
• Avoid using feminine hygiene sprays
• Take good care of your feet
See a dermatologist if you are having trouble managing skin health on your own.
While diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in the United States, most diabetics can reduce or prevent eye complications by following these guidelines:
• Keep your blood sugar levels under strict control
• Watch your blood pressure and keep it at acceptable levels
• Stop smoking
• See an eye care professional at least once a year for a dilated eye exam
• See your eye care professional if you have a loss or blurred vision, pain in your eye(s), eyes that stay red, trouble reading, started seeing double, pressure in your eye(s), have seen spots, or if straight lines do not look straight
High blood sugar levels and uncontrolled diabetes can leave behind nerve damage. Nerve damage can occur to your feet, bladder, genitals, intestines, and other organs. Minimize damage or reduce chance of damage by:
• Controlling your blood sugar levels
• Eating healthy, balanced meals
• Taking extra care of your feet
• Understanding exercise hazards and limitations
Other complications can occur as uncontrolled diabetes puts you at greater risk for heart disease, kidney disease, and mental health decline. Be sure to maintain blood sugar levels in your target zone, eat a healthy, balanced diet, and talk with your doctor if you are feeling anger, denial, high stress, or depression.
The suggestions above are a stepping stone to managing your diabetes and complications that could occur. Talk with your doctor about other ways to manage diabetes complications and find the plan that's best for you and your health.