How can I avoid the complications of type 1 diabetes?

Having type 1 diabetes means that your body does not produce insulin. Insulin transfers sugar (glucose) from the blood to the cells to provide energy.

Without insulin, too much sugar can build up in the blood. This can damage nerves and blood vessels and lead to serious health problems.

If diabetes is not managed and blood sugar is controlled, the whole body can be affected. Here are some common complications.

  • Kidney disease.
  • Heart disease.
  • Stroke.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Neurological disorders.
  • Foot problems, including ulcers.
  • Eye disease (retinopathy).
  • Skin infections.
  • Gum disease (inflammation and infection).

Does not completely eliminate the possibility of such complications, but it does reduce the risk of developing them.

Watch your blood sugar

High blood sugar levels can cause real damage to the body. Therefore, it is important to test your blood sugar daily and keep it within normal limits.

Have your doctor test yourself for glycated hemoglobin. This test assesses the average blood glucose level over several months to give a more complete picture of diabetes management.

Understand the significance of other ancillary tests

People with diabetes are at higher risk for heart disease or stroke than people without diabetes, but steps can be taken to reduce the risk of developing the disease.

Keep your blood pressure and cholesterol levels in a healthy range. Hypertension and hypercholesterolemia are common in people with diabetes, so they should be checked.

Stick to a healthy diet

Choosing foods wisely can help control blood sugar levels and keep your heart and kidneys healthy. Eat foods that contain fiber and good fats. Avoid foods rich in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium.

Staying active

Exercise helps reduce blood sugar levels and the risk of various diseases such as heart disease and stroke, and has beneficial effects on lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

But check with your doctor before you start exercising. Your doctor may warn against certain high-intensity workouts and weight lifting because they can raise blood sugar.

Protecting your feet

Type 1 diabetes can damage foot health. Nerve damage may cause numbness or tingling in the feet, and it may also weaken or damage the tissue structure of the feet, increasing the risk of infection and ulcers.

Check your feet thoroughly every day for cuts, blisters, ulcers, erythema, toenail infections, and numbness in the feet.

Keep your feet clean and moisturized, and trim your toenails. Wear well-fitting socks and shoes. Walking barefoot or wearing ill-fitting, squishy shoes can cause foot problems.

Protect your teeth

High blood sugar can make it easier for bacteria to grow in the mouth and create plaque, which can eventually lead to gum disease.

Clean your teeth daily with a toothbrush and floss, and rinse your mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash. Check your gums for redness, tenderness, or bleeding (which can be a symptom of gingivitis). Gingivitis is the beginning of gum disease.

Scheduling an appointment for a checkup

Examinations should be scheduled regularly. You should have an eye exam at least once a year, visit your dentist every 6 months, and have your feet checked. You should also be screened for kidney disease every year.

Stopping the habit

For smokers, quit. Strictly speaking, smoking is one of the most important habits to quit in people with diabetes. Smoking increases the risk of almost all complications of diabetes.

Can’t stop smoking? Ask your doctor for help.

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