The number of sugars inside a human body and the blood flowing through our veins should be at a normal level. That is different while you’re fasting and when you’ve eaten something. When you have diabetes, your blood sugar level isn’t normal obviously, which leads to certain complications and health conditions. Diabetes complications – the term is scary, but you don’t need to be scared at all if you know how to avoid them. Here are our seven tips for that purpose. Read them all.
Do’s and Don’ts To Avoid Diabetes Complications
Routinely Monitor Blood Sugar Levels
Controlling blood sugar levels is very necessary at all costs. This can be done by routine monitoring in the morning, one or two hours before and after having a meal, and before going to bed. So, it is important to know the safe levels and adjust the required eating habits and calorie intake accordingly. Low blood sugar is often fatal and appears with the symptoms of sweating, shaking, anxiety and nervousness, hunger, irritability, confusion, or dizziness. To prevent these conditions, the patient should be immediately treated with something sweet to increase the low blood sugar levels. For high blood sugar levels, physical exercise, adherence to medication, and excessive water intake are recommended.
Studies suggest that physical exercise is a very important factor in disease management if you have type II diabetes mellitus. However, as the disease develops, patients feel weak and therefore, become physically less active. As we all know, exercise burns calories, and the calories are sufficient primarily from sugar reserves present in the blood.
Physical exercise is known to improve the control over blood glucose levels and consequently delay or prevent the onset of type II diabetes mellitus, helping you avoid diabetes complications. It also positively interferes with lipid metabolism and in cardiovascular diseases by controlling blood pressure and thus ensures a healthy lifestyle and an improved quality of life.
Physical exercise contributes by improving the response of the body to blood sugar levels. This suggests the importance of exercise and if it is incorporated in the daily routine of a diabetic patient, it would greatly help in maintaining the blood sugar levels in a safer range thus, preventing complications.
To avoid diabetes complications, it is important to make some healthy choices with respect to one’s food. Healthy eating habits would be different for different diabetic patients. For example, for type I diabetes mellitus it is important to keep a check of the carb intake and determine the insulin levels you need to take. However, in type II diabetes mellitus, patients are usually observed to ensure that they’re not overweight. Being obese means the normal functioning of insulin in the body is hard to maintain. Therefore, for patients suffering from type II diabetes, the major focus is to take a diet that helps in burning fat and consequently results in controlling body weight.
The following tips are important in order to help them make healthy food choices.
1. Use less salt in meals
2. Select healthy carbohydrate sources, such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy items, and pulses
3. Avoid consuming red meat and replace them with lentils, vegetables, poultry, and fish
4. Select healthy fats such as those obtained from nuts, fish, fruits (Avocado), and vegetables
It is highly advisable to quit smoking if one is suffering from diabetes mellitus, especially type II, and wants to stay safe from diabetes complications. Studies suggest that smoking has been associated with aggravating the risk of developing heart, eye, nerve, and kidney diseases. It can also cause decreased blood flow to the limbs, leading to diabetic ulcers and infections, premature deaths, and also interferes with the normal glucose metabolism in the blood.
Chemicals present in cigarettes produce inflammatory responses, thus interfering with the cell’s potential of responding to insulin and taking up glucose from the bloodstream. As a result, the excess of glucose is accumulated in the body, mainly increasing the belly fat that further worsens the disease condition. To conclude, smoking may result in serious consequences in diabetic patients if left ignored. Therefore, diabetic patients should consider quitting smoking – an excellent tip to avoid diabetes complications and multiple health conditions!
Pay Special Attention to Infections
High blood sugar levels result in reduced blood flow, especially in the limbs. This reduced blood flow also results in loss of sensation and flushing of the cellular debris. If left unnoticed, it may result in blisters from where microorganisms can directly enter and cause infections. These infections may take longer than usual in recovery and are often observed to spread in the nearby area inside the body. It mainly occurs in the feet. Therefore, to prevent the problems associated with the diabetic foot and stay safe from diabetes complications, the following preventive measures is highly recommended.
- Wash your feet with lukewarm water routinely, while preventing soaking the feet at the same time as it may lead to dry skin that is more prone to infections.
- Wash and moisturize your hands and feet with petroleum jelly or with moisturizer. This not only prevents the dryness of the skin but also prevents the growth of microorganisms in the foot.
- Do not over-moisturize your feet as moisture can also support the growth of microorganisms.
- Regularly check your feet for blisters, sores, calluses or swelling. Also avoid walking barefoot, even in your home.
- If you detect any foot problem, consult a physician as early as possible.
Increase Water Intake
Water is a drink with zero sugar present in it. Therefore, it is considered the best for diabetics. Studies suggest that drinking more water helps in lowering blood sugar levels and thus helps you avoid diabetes complications. The body of diabetics is actively trying to remove excess glucose and for doing this more water is required as sugar is excreted through urine. This increased demand for water by the bodies of diabetics is also linked to dehydration. Therefore, it is very important to keep the body hydrated all the time as it is critical for carrying out daily chores. At the same time, it is helpful in flushing out the excess sugar present in the bloodstream.
Maintain Cholesterol and Blood Pressure
High cholesterol levels and high sugar levels also interfere with blood pressure by damaging the blood vessels, and ultimately contribute to the onset of cardiovascular diseases. Diabetic patients are also found to have been linked with cardiac problems and therefore, have high chances of having a heart attack and stroke. To prevent these diabetes complications, it is suggested to eat healthily, reduce weight, consume less salt and low levels of fats and properly adhere to the medication prescribed by the physician.