Diabetes mellitus is a chronic condition characterized by the body’s inability to create and absorb insulin, which is a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. If left unattended, the condition can cause lasting damage to the patient’s eyesight, kidneys, heart health, and blood vessels. In addition, they must also practice self-care to limit the damage caused by this condition. Here’s how they can do that.
1Pay Attention to the Diet
It isn’t enough for diabetics to only avoid eating sugar. They must also ensure that they have a wholesome, well-balanced diet with the right amount of carbohydrates, a variety of fruits, vegetables, poultry, fish, and meat. You should also include low-fat dairy and limit your intake of saturated fats. Include plenty of fiber in your diet and check nutrition levels of all packaged foods. Drink plenty of water and use as little salt as possible. Lastly, follow a consistent meal plan.
Obesity increases the risk of complications caused by diabetes. To prevent this, along with paying attention to your diet, you must also get regular exercise. Exercise helps maintain good overall health, regulates metabolism, improves blood sugar control, and plays a key role in weight management. It also helps deal with stress and improves the patient’s mood. However, you should be careful about the type of exercise you perform. Always consult your doctor before starting a new exercise program.
3Get Regular Eye Examinations
Diabetes can cause vision loss and blindness. Thus, it is important for all diabetics to undergo regular eye exams. This can ensure that damage if any can be identified early by an ophthalmologist.
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4Practice Good Oral Hygiene
Diabetes also affects your oral health. To maintain good dental health, you must brush and floss your teeth regularly. Use a fluoride-free toothpaste to brush your teeth twice a day. You should also floss your teeth after every meal to ensure that no food particles are left inside your mouth. This helps minimize the risk of conditions like periodontitis and gingivitis. The development of these conditions can contribute to blood sugar instability. In addition to practicing good oral habits, you must also consult a dentist regularly to help you catch early symptoms of dental issues.
5Find a Support Group
Diabetes is a chronic condition that cannot be cured. Thus, it is essential for patients to have a strong support system. Patients are encouraged to talk through their care routines with family, friends, and other caregivers. This helps patients stay motivated to follow their self-care routine and take their medication. Patients can also find support groups online.
6Care for the Feet
The Feet should be kept clean and dry. Check the skin of the feet and webs between the toes every day for sores or lesions. You should keep the nails trimmed and avoid cutting the corners to prevent ingrowths. It is also advisable to wear closed-toed shoes to prevent foot injuries.
It is a must for someone with diabetes to indulge in self-care. Apart from that, it is also very important for diabetic patients to take their medication and insulin as prescribed by the doctor.