Careful diabetes care can certainly reduce the risk of serious complications. Remember that diabetes care is a life long responsibility. The efforts are always worthwhile. Certainly involves keeping your blood glucose levels under control. In addition, it has many other angles that need to be assessed and treated efficiently.
How to begin with diabetes care programme?
Initially, you need to know about the disease itself. Gather as much information as you can about diabetes from various sources. Members of your diabetes care team include your doctor or your primary healthcare provider and your dietician. They can help you learn the basics of diabetes care and offer support along the way But it is up to us to manage this condition. Make healthy eating and physical activity part of your daily routine; follow the doctor’s instructions for your medications; please maintain a healthy weight and finally, ask your diabetes treatment team for help when you need it.
What about smoking or chewing tobacco?
Smoking increases your risk of diabetes complications and diabetes. The risk of tobacco products in diabetics include increased chances of coronary artery disease, paralytic stroke, an eye disease that can lead to blindness, nerve damage, and kidney disease. Smoking in a diabetic can cause a reduction of blood supply in the legs and feet. This can lead to infections, ulcers on the feet, and can even lead to amputation of the legs. What about blood pressure and cholesterol in diabetics? Like high blood glucose, high blood pressure can also damage your blood vessels. High cholesterol and triglyceride are a concern too. When all these conditions occur in the same individual, they can lead to a heart attack or a paralytic stroke. Eating a healthy, fat-reduced diet and exercising regularly can help you to maintain high blood pressure and cholesterol values to normal limits. Besides, your doctor will prescribe additional medications to control these conditions.
How often should you visit your doctor?
Schedule at least 3 to 4 diabetes check-ups annually. This is in addition to a yearly detailed evaluation including your eye check-up. Your doctor will ask you about your activity levels and your diet. He will also look for any diabetes-related complications involving the kidneys, heart, nerves as well as screen for other med-ical conditions. Your eye care doctor will look for evidence for retinal damage, cataracts or glaucoma.
What about vaccinations?
Always keep your vaccines up to data Diabetes increases your chances of certain infections. Routine vaccination helps you prevent them. A yearly flu vaccine during flu season will prevent the severity of influenza and reduce complications. Vaccination against bacterial pneumonia is advisable. Hepatitis B vaccination is suggested if you have not received it early and are younger than 60 years. If you are older than 60 years, consult your doctor. Stay up to date with a tetanus shot. This is given once every 10 years. Other vaccinations may be suggested by your doctor.
What about your teeth?
Diabetes leaves you prone to gum infections. Brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Floss your teeth once a day. Visit your dentist at least twice a year. If you have swollen gums or pain in teeth, contact your
How to prevent problems in your feet?
Uncontrolled diabetes can damage the nerves of your feet and also reduce blood supply. Cuts and blisters need to be treated as early as possible so as to prevent serious infections. Diabetes can lead to pain, tingling, or loss of sensation of your feet. To prevent foot problems, wash your feet with luke-warm water daily. Dry your feet gently particularly in between the toes. Moisturize your feet and ankles with lotion or petroleum jelly. Check your feet daily for calluses, blisters or sores, redness, or swelling. Do not go barefoot indoors or outdoors. If you have a foot sore or ulcer see your doctor immediately.
What about aspirin?
If you have had a stroke or heart disease, your doctor may prescribe aspirin. He will always weigh the risk of benefits of aspirin versus the risk of bleeding from the stomach. Aspirin is a blood thinner given to individuals to reduce the risk of stroke or cardiovascular diseases. Your doctor will decide what is best for you.
What about alcohol consumption?
Alcohol can cause high or low blood glucose depending on how much you drink and the associated diet. A diabetic should drink responsibly. Drink only with a meal or a snack. Always remember that alcohol can lower your blood sugar below normal values and interfere with blood glucose, cholesterol, and blood pressure control.
What about stress management and diabetes?
If you are stressed, diabetes will not get the attention that it requires from you. It may increase your blood sugar and blood pressure. Learn relaxation techniques. Yoga and meditation will help. Always have a positive attitude. Get plenty of sleep. Remember your daily walks and exercises are always distressing. Besides the medications prescribed by your doctor, diet and exercise are equally important. A healthy and disciplined lifestyle is important. If you are willing to do your part, diabetes care is not very difficult. Be positive and be healthy.
Author: Dr Jay Deshmukh
Dr Jay Deshmukh is Chief Physician and Director, Sunflower Hospital, Nagpur Honorary Physician to Honorable Governor of Maharashtra and PondicherryCentral. Dr Jay Deshmukh is an M.B.B.S., M.C.P.S., F.C.P.S., M.N.A.M.S., MD From Internal Medicine – Bombay and New Delhi.