Diabetes Health

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Whether you have been diagnosed with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, it is important to keep an eye not only on your blood sugar levels but also on your overall health. This will help you avoid some of the unpleasant health complications that can make diabetes a debilitating or even fatal condition.

If diabetes is not managed correctly with proper diet and exercise, all sorts of health complications can arise. Raised blood sugar levels over a long period of time can cause damage to the nerves, the heart and the kidneys, all of which can lead to serious complications. A very common health complication of poorly managed diabetes is blindness, caused by high blood sugar levels damaging the nerves in the eye.

Diabetes Health

Other health complications are caused by the high blood sugar levels associated with poorly managed diabetes. High blood sugar levels reduce the body’s ability to heal wounds, particularly in the feet and lower body. And we all know how easy it is to stub toes or tread on drawing pins! As foot injuries take a longer time to heal when blood sugar levels are high over an extended period, infection can easily set in. The result can be gangrene, which requires amputation to prevent the decay spreading throughout the bloodstream.

It can be all too easy to forget about your feet when they’re stuffed away inside socks and trainers. So if you have diabetes, for the sake of your health, make sure you keep an eye on how your feet are. And, of course, manage your blood sugar levels.

Protecting your health by managing your diabetes well is more or less straightforward. This is done by keeping up and constantly adapting your insulin dosage to your requirements, eating a diet that is low in sugar and processed starches (such as white flour, cornstarch and white rice), and doing moderate exercise (at least! As long as overall health is good, there is nothing preventing a person with diabetes excelling in the sporting world).

Occasionally, you may find your blood sugar levels climbing above the normal maximum of 8 mmol/l. As long as these “highs” are few and far between, this will not be likely to cause any of the health complications associated with poorly managed diabetes. It is having high blood sugar levels consistently over a longer time that can cause problems. Your diabetes health professional will be able to monitor your average levels with the HbA1c test at your regular checkup.

However, with proper management, those with diabetes can stay in perfect health and enjoy an active and enriched old age. For those with Type 1 diabetes, this is a reassuring fact: just because you get diabetes when you are a child does not mean that blindness and gangrene are inevitable.

To cite one diabetes specialist, some people have now been injecting insulin for nearly sixty years, having gone from injecting bovine insulin with needles they had to boil and grind themselves to today’s lab-cultured insulin and superfine needles. And in spite of their diabetes, these people are in perfect health! Good management is the secret to good health in diabetes.

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