Tips to Reduce the Complications of Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a risk factor for many serious conditions, including heart disease, stroke, diabetic nerve damage, kidney disease, and blindness. High blood sugar affects many organs of the body and it is this damage that eventually exacts it toll on the body and can cause death to the diabetic patient.
Health Complications And Side Effects Of Type 2 Diabetes
• 7th leading cause of death in 2010
• 50% of diabetics die of heart disease and stroke
• 71% of adults with diabetes also have hypertension
• 44% of all kidney failures in 2011 were the result of diabetes
• 60% of all non-traumatic amputations of the lower limbs result from nerve damage because of diabetes.
• 7,686 cases of diabetic retinopathy were diagnosed in 2010 this number is up from the 2,063 cases diagnosed in the year 2000.
• Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in adults age 20 to 74
• Diabetics are two times more likely to suffer from depression
• Birth defects, large babies and other dangerous complications to the mother and baby can result from uncontrolled diabetes during pregnancy
• Those with diabetes have two times the risk of death from any cause as opposed to those without the disease.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to prevent some of these complications and improve the quality of your life with diabetes. The worst thing is allowing this disease to fester without attendance and careful attention.
Here are some tips:
• Maintain good blood sugars. Check your blood sugars at least twice daily and find patterns of eating and exercise that keep the blood sugars under 180 mg/dL at all times. High blood sugar is the trigger for the secondary complications of diabetes so do all you can to eat right and exercise, taking medications when your doctor recommends it.
• Monitor blood sugars. Often there are no symptoms of increases in blood glucose and so it is important to monitor regularly. Regular doctor visits to check Hemoglobin A1C and a home glucose meter are important methods to that end.
• Check your feet every night. High blood sugar in diabetes can cause diabetic neuropathy, which is nerve damage, mostly in the feet and hands. With diabetic neuropathy, you can step on something and get open sores of the feet without feeling it. These open areas can cause infection to enter the body and must be tended to. Look particularly at the bottoms of the feet and between the toes for any areas where skin has become broken.
• Wear appropriate shoes. Diabetics, unfortunately, cannot wear just any shoe. Shoes that rub parts of the feet raw or are too tight can cause open sores. For this reason, many insurance companies will pay for the diabetic to have a pair of orthopedic custom-made shoes that will keep the feet cradled in comfort while walking.
• See an ophthalmologist every year. An ophthalmologist or eye specialist can dilate the eyes and can look at the retina for evidence of diabetic retinopathy, a condition where the elevated blood sugar triggers ruptures in the tiny vessels of the eye. There are treatments, such as laser treatments that can coagulate the bleeding areas to preserve vision for as long as possible.
• Have your cholesterol and triglycerides checked every year. Diabetes and high cholesterol/triglycerides often go hand in hand. This complication triggers the formation of plaques in the important arteries supplying the legs, heart and brain. If the cholesterol isn’t controlled along with the blood sugar, the plaques can enlarge and restrict or block the circulation to these vital areas. The end result is:
* Peripheral vascular disease
These are potentially deadly diseases with death due to heart failure, sudden cardiac arrest, complications of gangrene or amputation, or brain cell death.
• Exercise. Exercise can become the best way to manage sugars and prevent the comorbidities and implications that come from diabetes. Ideally, you should engage in aerobic exercise, which is the active kind of exercise that gets your heart rate and respiratory rate up. Exercise is good for lowering blood pressure and blood sugar; it is good for keeping your arteries flowing as freely as possible. The cardiovascular damage caused by diabetes can be partially prevented by exercise.
• Lose weight. Weight loss has numerous benefits in diabetes. It can keep the blood sugar low and reduce high blood pressure. Exercise keeps your blood flowing and prevents the complications of diabetes, particularly those associated with vascular and heart disease.
The above tips will affect your blood sugars for the better but they will do more than just that. Better blood sugar numbers translate to fewer risk factors for diseases far worse than diabetes alone. Preventing these secondary conditions is exactly the point of controlling blood sugars when you have diabetes.