by Dr. Steven Waldman
Staying healthy as a diabetic requires regular visits at a podiatrist’s office, but that’s not all. There are many things a diabetic patient can do, and avoid doing, to stay in control of their disease. Keep this list in mind to lower your risk of further complications from diabetes.
- Control your blood sugar. High blood sugar (hyperglycemia) and low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can cause a variety of complications especially if you remain hyperglycemic/hypoglycemic for a long period of time. Staying active and paying attention to your diet are important. Look for recipes that will meet your health goals while still being delicious and satisfying – take the time to prepare nutritious meals that will also make you happy. Ward’s recipes at The Decadent Diabetic are a great place to start.
- Keep a diabetic log, or journal. Logging your activities, insulin regiment, and diet can help you to have better control of your blood sugar. If an activity causes you to have low blood sugar, you will be better prepared for it in the future!
- See your podiatrist. Regular visits will help avoid ulcers, infections, and even amputations. Your podiatrist will also be able to deal with a variety of diabetic complications – including peripheral neuropathy – hopefully diagnosing and treating them before they become a major issue.
- Check your feet daily. Be sure to ask your podiatrist what to look for. If you see anything abnormal, make an appointment. If you can’t check on your own, use a mirror or a friend
- Consider diabetic shoes. Ask your podiatrist on your next visit if you think you are a candidate.
- Don’t ignore your blood sugar. Forgetting to check your blood sugar can result in some serious issues.
- Don’t cut your own toenails. See your podiatrist, they will take care of it safely to avoid infections.
- Don’t ignore your feet. Check them daily.
- Don’t test the bathwater with your feet. Peripheral Neuropathy, a nerve problem, can lead to lost sensation. You may not be able to feel how hot the water is and burn yourself. Use a thermometor or your elbow.
- Don’t ignore any blister, callus, or ulcer on your feet. These need to be seen as soon as possible by your podiatrist.
- Don’t smoke! Diabetic patients already are at a greater risk for many diseases and complications. Don’t put yourself at a greater risk by smoking.
This is NOT a full and final list. This is just an example of some of the precautions every diabetic should take. If you have any questions, talk to your doctor or make an appointment today!