Most people who have diabetes understand that it is a serious disease. Following your diabetes treatment plan is essential for your overall health. Proper diabetes care can lower your risk of dangerous and life-threatening complications. Let’s look at nine things you should consider to have a healthier future.
1. Control your blood pressure and cholesterol levels
High blood pressure and high cholesterol levels can both damage your blood vessels. But the damage is often worse and more rapid with diabetes. If you have both these conditions, they can trigger a heart attack, stroke or other very dangerous conditions. In order to maintain healthy cholesterol levels and blood pressure, you need to eat a healthy and low-fat diet and exercise regularly.
2. Get your vaccines on time
Diabetes makes you more prone to many diseases but regular vaccines can help prevent them.
A yearly flu vaccine will help you stay healthy and prevent dangerous complications from the flu.
The hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for adults with diabetes who haven’t had the vaccine and are younger than 60. Your doctor may also recommend other vaccines.
3. Plan regular physicals and eye exams
In addition to your annual diabetes checkups, you need to undergo a physical exam and routine eye exams.
During the physical, the doctor will ask about your diet and activity level and look for symptoms of diabetes-related complications like kidney disorder, nerve damage, and heart disease.
Eye exams are also important since diabetes often damages eyes and leads to cataracts and glaucoma.
4. Don’t forget about your feet
High blood sugar levels can impair blood flow and damage the nerves in your feet. When left untreated, cuts and blisters can provoke dangerous infections. If you have foot problems, visit a podiatrist. Also, check your feet daily for calluses, blisters, sores, redness or swelling.
5. Maintain dental health
Diabetes can cause gum infections. Therefore, you need to keep an eye on your gums and maintain proper dental hygiene that includes brushing teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, flossing once a day and of course, planning dental exams at least every six months.
6. Give up smoking
Smoking is especially dangerous for people with diabetes as it increases the risk of numerous diabetes complications like kidney disease, stroke, heart disease, blindness, and premature death. Talk to your health care provider about methods that will help you quit smoking.
7. Try to limit your alcohol intake
Alcohol can cause blood sugar spikes, depending on how much you drink. That’s why it’s very important to drink in moderation. Also, keep in mind that alcohol can lower blood sugar later, especially for those who use insulin.
8. Take stress seriously
Stress can affect your health as well as exacerbate diabetes. Try to use some options for stress management. Learn relaxation techniques, get enough sleep, and above all, stay positive.
9. Consider a daily aspirin
If you suffer from diabetes and you smoke or have high blood pressure, your doctor may recommend taking a low dose of aspirin daily. It can help reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke.