How do you care for diabetes? Caring for diabetes involves many aspects including management, monitoring and control.
First and foremost is monitoring your disease. There are many monitoring devices on the market and many companies that produce monitoring devices. These companies include a division of Bayer, Johnson and Johnson and many other smaller companies. Most of these companies will provide a free monitor to newly diagnosed diabetics in order to get you to join their Diabetes Care Clubs. Glucose daily monitoring is your first line of defense.
Next is managing your disease. You should have a primary care physician who you visit as often as advised and he or she will manage your medications or insulin therapy as well as necessary lab tests. You will also need to watch your diet and there is great information on websites such as the American Diabetes Association on nutrient and diet control. There are also websites that have many of new and delicious recipes for diabetic management. There are also support groups online that you can join where you can meet fellow diabetics and share advice on diet management.
You will also need to learn all you can about foot health care. Diabetics have the most problems with their feet. This is caused by nerve damage in the feet and the narrowing of blood vessels in the legs. These two problems can cause a tiny cut to become extremely infected and lead to gangrene of the foot. Gangrene can lead to amputation of the foot or leg. But the good news is that all these problems can be prevented.
You need to always remember that if you have toes or feet that are blue or pale – this is a symptom of poor circulation. And if you feel numbness or tingling in your toes or feet, this is a symptom of nerve damage. If you have any of these symptoms you should talk with your primary care physician immediately.
If you have nerve damage in your foot, you might not be able to tell when you have a small cut or skin damage and an infection could start before you even realize it. And with poor circulation, when you do get a cut or any damage, there is not enough blood flowing to the foot to fight the infection.
Next is proper foot care. This includes regularly washing and inspecting your feet. Carefully inspect your feet for small cuts, breaks in the skin, blisters, corns or calluses. Corns or calluses should be treated by your physician or nursing staff. Small cuts should be treated with antibiotic ointments.
It is extremely important to keep your toe nails properly trimmed to avoid ingrown toenails as this can also be a source of infection or foot problems.
If you smoke, stop, as smoking prevents proper blood circulation. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. Smoking is not only bad for diabetics but is a bad lifestyle habit for everyone.
If you notice that your foot feels hot, is red or if you are running a fever, it is extremely important for a diabetic to get to your doctor as soon as possible. Infections in the foot can get worse quickly and gangrene can develop quickly also. So, for diabetics, these foot care tips are especially important.
These are a few areas in how you manage your diabetes. There is excellent information on many websites on the internet.
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