Diabetes is a complicated metabolic disease that can often lead to severe complications. Managing diabetes is a full-time commitment, but your efforts will be worthwhile. When well-managed, you will find that you make fewer trips to the hospital.
Here are some vital strategies you can use to avoid huge complications that will lead you to get admitted to the hospital.
Be Committed To Managing Diabetes
You can have a diabetes care team which should include a primary care provider, an education specialist, and a dietician. They will help you when it comes to the basics of dealing with diabetes and also offers you support along the way. However, you must remember it is up to you to do the work; they can only guide you through the process.
Make sure you learn as much as you can about diabetes. Learn about healthy eating habits and the physical activity you can add to your daily routine to maintain a healthy weight. Keep track of your blood sugar levels and follow your healthcare provider’s instructions on how to manage your blood sugar levels.
If you already smoke, you will need to quit smoking. It increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and other diabetes complications such as heart disease, eye disease, nerve damage, and premature death and worsens blood sugar control. Talk to your healthcare provider to learn how to stop smoking and using other types of tobacco.
Keep Your Cholesterol and Blood Pressure Under Control
High blood pressure and diabetes can cause severe damage to your blood vessels. High cholesterol levels are also a huge concern since they can lead to worse damage if you have diabetes. If you have these conditions, you are easily prone to stroke, heart disease, and other life-threatening conditions.
Eating a healthy balanced diet, avoiding alcohol, and exercising regularly can help you control your cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. If you already have these conditions, your primary healthcare provider will recommend you take medication if necessary.
Go for Regular Physicals and Eye Exams
Make sure you schedule 2 to 4 diabetes checkups every year. You must also go for your routine physical and eye exams. During the routine checkups, your healthcare provider will ask about your activity level and nutrition and check whether you have developed any diabetes-related complications such as kidney disease, heart disease, or nerve damage.
They will examine your feet and check for any other issues that you may have. Your eye specialist will also look for cataracts and retinal damage of glaucoma.
Make Sure All Your Vaccines Are Up to Date
Diabetes increases the chances of getting some illnesses. Routine vaccination can help prevent most of these medical issues. Some of the vaccines you can ask your healthcare provider about include the pneumonia vaccine, flu vaccine, hepatitis B vaccine, and tetanus vaccine. Your doctor may also recommend other vaccines if they see fit.
Take Care of Your Dental Health
If you have diabetes, you are prone to gum infections. Ensure you brush your teeth at least twice daily and with fluoride toothpaste. Ensure you floss your teeth at least once daily and schedule regular dental exams. If you notice any change in your gums, call your doctor.
Take Care of Your Feet
High blood sugar levels often reduce blood flow causing damage to the feet. If left untreated, cuts and bruises on your feet will take a long time to heal, leading to severe infections. If you have diabetes, wash your feet daily with lukewarm water and avoid soaking your feet in water for too long.
Make sure you dry your feet and moisturize them with lotion or petroleum jelly. Do not put any oil lotion or oil between your toes to avoid infections. Finally, check your feet daily for blisters, calluses, swelling or redness. Consult your doctor if you realize you have a wound or sore that doesn’t start to heal after a few days.
Managing diabetes involves regular exercise, eating healthy, managing stress, and taking medication, among other factors. Make sure you follow the advice given by your healthcare provider to reduce the chances of complications that will increase your hospital visits.