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Whether you have type one or type two, diabetes is a challenging illness to live with. Maribel Rivera, RDN, LD, CBC, AdventHealth Registered Dietician and Diabetes Educator shares, “while numerous health complications are common, there’s a lot you can do to stay on top of your diabetes with healthy lifestyle habits. By following some simple tips, you can keep your blood sugar in check and prevent issues before they begin.”
Common Diabetes Complications
When you have diabetes, it’s important to take care of yourself with consistency and compassion. Chronic high blood sugar can lead to complications such as:
- Dental problems
- Digestive issues
- Erectile dysfunction
- Eye problems
- Infections (such as your feet)
- Kidney disease
- Nerve damage (neuropathy)
- Skin challenges
Diabetes Care Tips
Maribel says, “these complications can turn into serious health issues if they aren’t addressed properly. The good news is you can keep your diabetes under control by turning healthy choices into habits.” Stay healthy with diabetes and live life to the fullest by following these tips:
Check Your Glucose Regularly
By monitoring your glucose numbers, you can learn how your body responds to different foods, exercise and medications. “With this data, you can better avoid serious diabetes complications such as eye problems, heart disease and stroke,” says Maribel. Continuous glucose monitors are helpful to track how your body’s responses and patterns.
“Smoking can make it harder to keep your diabetes under control. It can also increase your odds of a host of health issues like blood flow problems to your legs and feet, gums, eyes, kidneys and heart diseases, as well as nerve damage,” warns Maribel.
Give Your Feet Extra Attention
Diabetes can damage nerves that would normally alert you to pain. Check your feet and toes carefully once a day. Maribel says, “look and feel for dry skin, swelling, hot spots, calluses or cuts.” If it’s hard to see the bottoms of your feet, a mirror can help. Use warm water to wash them gently. Then, dry them and apply lotion to moisturize them. Don’t use lotion between the toes.
Go to Your Doctor’s Appointments
“Keep your regularly scheduled visits with your provider and seek treatment immediately if you notice a problem, such as a possible foot infection,” recommends Maribel.
Take Good Care of Your Teeth
Keeping your smile healthy is important because high blood sugar can lead to more sugar in your saliva. Cavities and gum disease can result. Maribel says, “to keep your teeth in good shape, brush them thoroughly with fluoride-containing toothpaste twice a day. Floss at least once a day, and don’t skip out on your dentist appointments.”
Take Your Medicine as Directed
Your health care provider may prescribe medicine to control your blood sugar, blood pressure and/or cholesterol. Follow their instructions carefully to manage your diabetes.
World-Class Diabetes Care
“Through all the ups and downs of living with diabetes, remember that we’re here for you to help answer any questions you have about your care, says Maribel, “we’ll help you manage your condition as you learn to take charge of your whole health.”
Our world-class Diabetes Care team helps thousands of patients like you delay and prevent many of the complications associated with diabetes. Visit us here for care that makes you feel whole.