Avoiding Complications of Diabetes: 7 Tips You Can’t Afford To Ignore
A diagnosis of diabetes doesn’t always have to mean a life full of complications. By drawing up a plan of action for your diabetes management, you can effectively reduce many of the risks connected with having type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
By Trevor Emdon
There are lots of things you can do to stop the development and progression of diabetes. Talk to your doctor about the health risks and ask about the many ways they can be forestalled.
Here are 7 vital tips to help you avoid those dreaded diabetes complications
1. Take control of blood sugar.
Imagine adding sugar to warm water. The water will gradually thicken and become sticky. The same effect is going on in your blood if you’re diabetic … and thicker, stickier blood is the source of almost all the complications of diabetes – apart from cholesterol … which is mentioned here too.
So this is the first line of defense against this condition. By maintaining tight control, you can reduce the harmful effects of unpredictable glucose levels in your body. You’ll also lower your A1C level, a test doctors use to determine how well diabetes is controlled. Aim at an A1C reading of less than 7%.
2. Cholesterol check.
Your overall cholesterol level should be 200 mg / dl, but talk about your cholesterol goals with your doctor because cholesterol comes in more than one kind!
Watch out for LDL and HDL cholesterol.
The current medical advice on cholesterol, which I’ve included for the more medically minded reader, looks like this:
LDL can clog the walls of the arteries, so your aim is to keep it below 70 mg / dl to avoid problems. Additionally, HDL cholesterol should be greater than 40 mg / dl for men and 50 mg / dL for females. Triglycerides must be less than 150 mg / dl.
3. Maintain a healthy blood pressure level.
The force exerted by blood on the walls of your arteries as it’s pumped around by your heart is called blood pressure. Diabetic people often suffer from high blood pressure which can give way to conditions like heart attack, stroke, vision problems and kidney failure. This is because there’s more sugar in your blood than in a non-diabetic’s – so it’s slightly thicker and stickier as I mentioned before.
That’s why, as a diabetic, you need to aim to keep your blood pressure level well under control. Somewhere around 120/80 is about right.
As you may be gathering, the real key to avoiding complications of diabetes is not to bury your head in the sand! Keep up your regular medical check ups and remember that diabetes has been nicknamed “the silent killer.” It can creep up on you!
4. Don’t ignore your renal system.
Kidneys process and balance the fluids present in our body. Poor blood sugar levels greatly affect the kidney because that sticky blood can’t get through the microscopic blood vessels in your kidneys if it’s too thick. So ask your doctor for a microalbumin test once or twice a year to keep a check on their health.
Your doctor can also tell a lot about the health of your kidneys from a simple urine test too. A combination of high blood pressure and too much of a substance called creatinine will start the alarm bells ringing about kidney issues … so once again, avoidance is far better than trying to fix it!
If your legs, ankles or feet swell, that too could be a sign of kidney issues – don’t ignore that one!
5. Keep an eye on your eyes.
Once again, that stickiness caused by high sugar in the blood could cause serious vision problems – even blindness – if not watched. Like your kidneys, your eyes are vulnerable to damage because of minuscule blood vessels, so if you have diabetes, it is essential to have a thorough eye examination once a year. If you have problems linked to eye sight then convey this to your doctor immediately.
6. Check your feet.
Ah … the extremities! Being the furthest away from your heart, for blood to keep circulating to the tips of your toes means it has to flow freely … and sticky blood doesn’t do that so well.
It is vital for you as a diabetic to examine your feet for conditions like sores or cracks on a regular basis. If you find a wound, treat it right away and monitor the recovery process. If it doesn’t seem to be healing, get advice quickly. Ignoring signs like these are the reason diabetics can end up having toes, feet and even legs amputated.
Numbness, burning or discomfort in your hands and/or your feet should be reported to the doctor. Nerve damage is common in diabetics and this condition may just signal the same. You should really observe your legs and feet for any changes or infections. If you happen to notice any one of these symptoms before your planned visit then don’t waste time and inform your doctor straight away.
7. Plan ahead.
Follow a good meal plan that includes healthy food with less salt and fat and high fiber. Strive to get 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity every day not only to loosen your muscles but to stay in the healthy weight range as well.
Planning is very important, because it is easy to fall off the wagon when you don’t have a plan. Stock your pantry with diabetic-friendly foods. Make it a habit to buy fresh vegetables weekly. Make time for exercise. Having no time is not an excuse. Get up earlier if you have to so you can sneak in a brisk walk or light jog before work. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Force yourself to exercise, and pretty soon, exercising will become a habit.
About the author:
Trevor Emdon is a British success coach, author, and publisher of self help material who one day woke up to realise he was happy, in love & successful. He blends psychotherapy & metaphysics to create his popular success, happiness & personal fulfillment programs. He firmly believes each of us can achieve our dreams – what else would life be for?
He was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2011. He has published a report, “Reversing Diabetes – Essential Facts You Must Know” which you can obtain free of charge here: http://wizardofwisdom.com/reversing-diabetes/