How to Prevent Diabetes Complications
According to the American Diabetes Association, complications from diabetes can affect many areas of your body. Diabetes can also increase your risk of other conditions. However, research shows that diabetes complications are preventable. In other words, you can live a healthy life with diabetes. Here are some tips:
- Eat Healthy - nutrition can directly and indirectly cause diabetes complications
- Exercise - exercise will make you more insulin sensitive (requiring less medicine to control blood sugars), will let your muscle cells use more glucose (sugar), reduce risk of heart attacks, stroke and nerve problems and improve mood
- Monitor – establish a baseline for your blood glucose, blood pressure, weight and lab results. A baseline helps you, your primary care provider and/or CDE (Certified Diabetes Educator) know if you are at risk of complications, how you can improve and how to prevent diabetes complications
- Medications - taking certain medicines incorrectly could contribute to complications. Make sure you have a list of your medication with you at all times, in case of an emergency. This should include all alternative treatments and herbal remedies. Just because it's “natural” doesn’t mean it’s healthy for you. Your pharmacist will be a great resource to discuss your medications.
- Learn – become familiar with your body and understand how it reacts. Figure out what factors influence your diabetes control. Blood glucose pattern management will help you find causes and solutions to glucose control barriers. Your CDE can teach you how to do pattern management.
- Healthy Coping – coping with stress can elevate sugar levels. This could affect how your body heals and deals with illness and infection. Seeking support, being active, positive thinking and having realistic expectations can help reduce your stress levels.
There are a variety of other ways to reduce your risk of complications including not smoking, having an annual eye exam, visiting your dentist and primary care physician regularly, inspecting your feet every day, visiting a podiatrist and listening to your body.
Talk to your physician about getting a referral to our Diabetes Education program or call us for more information at (855) 404-3339.