Friday, October 1, 2010

10 Easy Ways to Control Diabetes

1. Learn to Manage Your Disease – follow the advice of your health care providers (your doctor, dietitian or diabetic nurse). Control or management starts with understanding how the disease could be controlled, regardless of type. Both types should be considered equally lethal if left uncontrolled. Invest in personal monitoring equipment as well as the latest medication methods available.

2. Smoking is ALWAYS bad for your health – If you smoke, make an effort to stop. Smoking intensifies your chances of getting or worsening the disease. Smoking increases your risk of various diabetes complications, including heart attack, stroke, nerve damage and kidney disease. In fact, smokers who have diabetes are three times more likely to die of cardiovascular disease than are nonsmokers who have diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association.

3. Have regular physical exams and eye tests – having a partnership with your doctor is always a good means of controlling your disease, or any condition you might have. Don’t let fear or the cost of medication hamper you from getting the right information and treatment for your condition.

4. Watch your Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Levels – always be mindful of these two conditions as these are always closely related to your diabetes. One important concern is that diabetes tends to amplify the complications of having high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels and puts you at a higher risk of suffering from those complications. Eat Healthy and have regular exercise activities to help you control your levels.

5. Keep your vaccines up to date. - High blood sugar can weaken your immune system, which makes routine vaccines more important than ever. Ask your doctor about:

■Flu vaccine. - A yearly flu vaccine can help you stay healthy during flu season, as well as prevent serious complications from the flu.

■Pneumonia vaccine.- Sometimes the pneumonia vaccine requires only one shot. If you have diabetes complications or you're age 65 or older, you may need a five-year booster shot.

■Other vaccines. - Stay up to date with your tetanus shot and its 10-year boosters, and ask your doctor about the hepatitis B vaccine. Depending on the circumstances, your doctor may recommend other vaccines as well.

6. Visit your Dentist Too – have a regular schedule with your dentist at least twice a year, as you run the risk of getting gum infection. If your gums start to bleed or get swollen, see your dentist right away. Practicing good dental hygiene also works best in avoiding gum problems.

7. Take care of your feet - High blood sugar can damage the nerves in your feet and reduce blood flow to your feet. Once you ignore them, cuts and blisters can lead to serious infections. To prevent foot problems:
  • Wash your feet daily in lukewarm water. 
  • Dry your feet gently, especially between the toes.
  • Moisturize your feet and ankles with lotion.
  • Check your feet every day for blisters, cuts, sores, redness or swelling.
  • Consult your doctor if you have a sore or other foot problem that doesn't start to heal within a few days.
8. An Aspirin a Day Keeps your Doctor away - Aspirin has the ability to minimize blood clotting. Doctors recommend a daily dosage of aspirin to minimize the risk of heart attacks and stroke, two of the more dangerous complications which may result from having diabetes.

9. If you must drink alcohol - Alcohol can cause low blood sugar, but it depends on how much you drink and how much food goes along with it. Anything in excess can never be good for you, specially alcohol. Also take into consideration, how many calories you are taking in once you take a sip from that wine glass of yours.

10. Stress Can Kill - Too much stress over a long period can lead you to forget or ignore your medication as well as your routine must dos. Prolonged stress can affect your insulin levels too, which we all know is dangerous for us with sweet blood. Adopt a stress management technique which suits your lifestyle.

Over-all, stay positive and enjoy life. Do your share in controlling this disease. Take control of your life.

Till next post.

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