14 Essentials of Diabetes Control

14 Essentials of Diabetes Control

Diabetes increases the risk of various health complications. Many times, without symptoms, various diseases take root in the body. So diabetic patients need to have regular checkups to detect these health complications.

It is known whether diabetes is under control or not through a checkup. As a result, healthcare providers can take necessary measures promptly. As part of the checkup, healthcare professionals perform a number of tests every year to assess the control of diabetes.

This article discusses 14 things that are essential to keeping diabetes under control and reducing the risk of other health complications.

At a Glance

1. Get your blood sugar tested:

High blood sugar levels can damage blood vessels. As a result, the risk of various serious health complications increases to a great extent. Keeping blood sugar levels under control is very important.

There is a blood test to measure average blood sugar control. The test is called the HbA1c test. Patients should undergo the test at least once a year.

This test can assess the level of diabetes control over the past three months. This test can determine the proximity of the blood sugar to the ideal target. The HbAUNC test is different from testing blood sugar at home with a ‘glucometer’ or diabetes measuring machine.

When measuring diabetes at home, the blood sugar level is known only at that moment. Many patients with diabetes need to measure their sugar levels regularly with a glucometer.

Not all patients need regular sugar testing like this. Usually, patients who use insulin or take some special diabetes medications should measure their blood sugar levels at home regularly. Talk to your doctor to find out if you need to measure your blood sugar regularly or how often and when you should measure it.

Be aware of your blood sugar levels. Doctors prescribe blood sugar targets for many patients with diabetes. If you set such a target, be aware that it is changing.

2. Check your blood pressure:

High blood pressure puts extra pressure on the blood vessels and heart. As a result, they cannot function properly. High blood pressure can increase the risk of various health complications from diabetes. These complications include various serious problems with the heart, kidneys, and eyesight.

High blood pressure usually has no symptoms. So a patient with high blood pressure may not feel sick.

But this increased blood pressure continues to damage the heart and blood vessels. Health complications often become serious before detecting these problems. So it is necessary to take proper treatment for high blood pressure quickly. Blood pressure can be controlled by staying active, keeping weight under control, eating healthy foods, and taking medication regularly.

Diabetic patients should visit a doctor at least once a year to measure their blood pressure. You can also measure blood pressure regularly at home. Talk to your doctor to find out what your blood pressure should be.

If you measure your blood pressure at home, record the readings in a notebook or diary. Show the readings to the doctor at your next checkup.

3. Know about ‘Lipid Profile’:


Blood contains a type of fatty substance called cholesterol. Blood cholesterol is mainly of two types—LDL and HDL. LDL is called ‘bad’ cholesterol. Because it accumulates inside the blood vessels and obstructs the blood flow. This can stop blood flow to various important organs. HDL, on the other hand, is called ‘good’ cholesterol. Because it helps remove LDL cholesterol from the blood.

Doctors perform a fasting lipid profile test to measure the levels of cholesterol and other fats in the blood. Patients typically undergo this blood test after fasting for 12 hours, during which they consume only water. Diabetic patients should undergo this test once a year.

Targets for blood sugar and blood pressure, as well as blood fat, can vary from person to person. Ask your doctor what the right target is for you. If the lipid profile results are above target, seek advice from a doctor on ways to lower them.

4. Take care of the eyes:


Diabetes can lead to serious eye damage. Excess sugar in the blood damages the blood vessels in the eyes. So diabetes is one of the causes of vision loss. However, individuals can prevent this blindness by maintaining sugar levels and undergoing annual specialized eye checkups.

An eye ‘screening test’ for diabetes is different from a simple eye test. In this case, an ophthalmologist will take a picture of the back of the patient’s eye to see if there are any changes. This approach allows for timely diagnosis and initiation of treatment. This can prevent various serious vision problems. If any change in vision is observed between two screening tests, it is important to consult a doctor immediately.

Note that smoking also increases the risk of various eye diseases. So if you are a smoker, you should quit smoking for your own health.

5. Get a foot and ankle checkup:


Diabetes can reduce the blood supply to the legs. As a result, the legs may feel paralyzed or numb. If the leg is injured, it may not be well felt. In addition, wounds do not heal easily. So problems like foot ulcers or infections may occur.

Complications may increase if these foot problems are not diagnosed quickly and treated properly. Even the legs may have to be amputated. Therefore, it is very important to regularly check the skin of the feet, blood circulation system, and senses (nerves). A doctor should examine the feet at least once a year for this purpose. Apart from this, care should be taken to determine whether there is any kind of change in the feet or not. Additionally, it is important to regularly care for the feet of a diabetic patient.

6. Take care of the kidneys:

A large proportion of diabetic patients develop various types of kidney disease as they age. Uncontrolled diabetes and high blood pressure damage the blood vessels in the kidneys. As a result, the kidneys cannot function properly.

Kidney problems may have no symptoms at first. That is why it is important to have regular kidney tests. Regular kidney tests can detect any kidney problem in time and initiate treatment.

Regular checkups help keep the kidneys healthy. For example, HbA1c, blood pressure, and blood cholesterol should be checked regularly. This helps control diabetes and the risk of other health complications. Keeping these levels as close to normal as possible reduces the risk of health complications.

Two tests should be done every year to monitor whether the kidneys are working properly.

1. Urine test:

A substance called protein in the urine indicates kidney problems.

2. Blood tests :

(e.g., creatinine or eGFR) Through this test, it is possible to know how the kidneys are working.

7. Follow a healthy diet:


Discuss your diet with a doctor or registered dietitian. He can give you the right advice, considering your pros and cons. In addition, you should measure your weight regularly. Take necessary measures to reduce weight if it increases.

Reducing the amount of salt and fat in your diet will help keep your blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels under control. As a result, the risk of various complications of diabetes will decrease.

Having diabetes doesn’t mean you have to give up certain foods altogether.

8. Get emotional support:


Many people become mentally disturbed when diagnosed with diabetes. It’s not unusual to find living with such a long-term problem difficult. However, it is possible to live a life without health complications if you follow the doctor’s advice, keep diabetes under control, and go for regular checkups.

If you suffer from stress due to diabetes, it can make your blood sugar rise even more. So taking care of mental health is important.

If you are concerned about anything, feel free to discuss it with your doctor. Your family and friends may also want to help you. Talk to someone who will listen carefully to your concerns. Communicating your feelings to others can help you feel better.

9. Learn about diabetes:


It is important to understand how diabetes affects your body and what steps you can take to control it. A lot of information can be known by discussing it with the doctor.

The doctor may give you a pamphlet or booklet on diabetes. Various information, including causes, symptoms, complications, and control methods for diabetes, is discussed in detail there. Besides, if any of your relatives or friends have diabetes and they have a good idea about it, you can also get various information from them.

10. Get expert advice:


Consult a specialist doctor to keep diabetes under control. Consult a diabetes or endocrine specialist to keep diabetes under control.

Apart from this, diabetes can cause diseases in different parts of the body. For example: eyes, feet, kidneys, and heart. Therefore, it may be necessary to see a specialist doctor as needed.

11. Plan ahead if you want to conceive:


If you want to get pregnant, you need to be more aware of diabetes control. Diabetic pregnancy can lead to various complications for the mother and baby.

Therefore, it is necessary to strictly control blood sugar before having a child. Therefore, it is necessary to closely monitor blood sugar to control diabetes before and during pregnancy.

At the time of planning a pregnancy, one should go to a specialist doctor and get pre-conception advice. One should seek expert advice at every step, from preparing for conception to post-natal care.

12. Seek specialist care if admitted to the hospital:


When the patient is hospitalized due to any illness, it is necessary to consult a specialist regarding the overall treatment. In this case, it is necessary to consult a diabetes (endocrine) specialist.

A specialist doctor should consult on the patient’s physical condition and ongoing treatment, even if the reason for hospitalization is not diabetes.

13. Talk about sexual problems:

Diabetes increases the risk of sexual problems in both men and women. Sexual problems can have physical, psychological, or lifestyle reasons. Apart from this, some medications can cause sexual problems as a side effect.

High blood sugar levels damage the blood vessels. As a result, the genitals do not get a proper blood supply. Sexual problems can also be caused by mental stress or a poor mood.

Men may experience symptoms such as erectile dysfunction (i.e., not being sexually aroused or being unable to maintain an erection). Both men and women can have problems like genital or urinary tract infections.

Do not hesitate to tell the doctor about this. Talking about these things can seem difficult. But if you tell the doctor, he can help you with proper treatment.

14. Quit smoking:

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Diabetes increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. Smoking increases this risk even further. Smoking can cause blockage of blood flow to the heart and other parts of the body.

Besides, smoking also increases blood pressure. As a result, the risk of various complications, including vision loss and nerve damage, increases.

So you have to decide to quit your smoking habit. Consult a doctor to quit smoking. He can make the process easier by suggesting medication and counseling.

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