The high blood sugar level can lead to short term and long term complications in the body. The complications happen when the blood sugar level is constantly higher for a long period of time. The effects of high sugar content in the blood can damage most of the vital organs and the essential systems.
The condition can affect the heart, kidneys, skin, nerves, joints, digestive system, oral health, eyes, etc. The complications arise as a result of other related disorders in the body like elevated blood cholesterol levels, blood pressure hike, etc. This is why you need to take extreme care of diabetes. It may start low but can cause long term damages that can be too late to revoke. Here are a few ways that you can adopt to avoid the common complications related to diabetes.
- Diabetes diet
A diabetic patient needs to eat regular and balanced meals. They need to take 4-5 small meals rather than 3 larger meals. Portion control is essential for these people. Carbohydrate control should be done wisely. They need to avoid the fast-digesting carbohydrates and should opt for the slow-digesting carbohydrates as in sweet potatoes, whole grains, beans, legumes, green peas, etc. These foods will reduce the post-meal sugar spike.
Food that is high in fiber can also keep check on the sudden sugar spike in the blood. The slow carbohydrates food and fiber will be digested slowly and release the energy slower than usual. This helps maintain the blood sugar level.
- Quit smoking
Smoking increases blood pressure. High blood pressure has damaging effects on not just the heart but also on the kidneys. Under constant higher blood pressure, the kidney functions slow down and can even become inactive. The blood flow to the kidneys can reduce gradually that causes these poorly functioning organs.
Smoking can also be related to the other diabetes complications such as poor blood flow to the legs causing ulcers and infections; causing blindness by damaging the nerves; general nerve damage to any part of the body causing numbness to the affected area etc. Quitting smoking is the best way to avoid such complications. A non-smoker has better chances of having control over blood sugar level than a smoker.
- Check blood pressure and cholesterol
Diabetes itself is a threat to the heart health and if the patient has high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels, the complications are sure to occur. The best way to avoid them is to take control over these conditions.
Avoid processed food and salty food to keep a tab on the blood pressure. Aim for blood pressure within a range of 130/80. Exercising keeps the body weight under control. Eating healthy food that is rich in fiber is another way to have controlled blood pressure. Smoking and alcohol are definite NOs in these circumstances.
Cholesterol is most likely to increase in diabetic patients. They must avoid fatty food and choose the healthier fat like omega fatty acids, olive oil etc. We need control over the bad cholesterol named LDL. By avoiding the fatty foods and processed or hydrogenated oils, you can reduce the LDL levels to an extent. The next step is to improve the good cholesterol levels. Regular exercises help improve the HDL levels.
- Weight management
Weight management is the short cut to avoid so many of the diabetes complications. It can control the blood sugar level, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It is also the healthy lifestyle way. It reduces the risks of heart diseases and can avoid chances of stroke as well.
While you lose weight, give more attention to lose the belly fat. Losing weight or maintaining the weight gives you more energy. Of course, losing weight can be tough but that should not let you down. You need to shed just a few pounds for starters and then try maintaining it for a while. Those few pounds can have a bigger and positive impact on the health.
- Caring for wounds
Prolonged high blood sugar levels affect negatively on the nerves. It also causes poor blood circulation. The poor blood circulation makes the wounds heal slower. The affected skin area does not get the enough blood to repair the skin. These wounds can grow bigger if not cared for.
The wounds on the lower part of the body, namely legs, are more at this risk. So you need to look for any minor wounds in these areas and tend to them as early as possible. The reason why you need to check for the wounds is that the nerve damage can deprive you of the pain sensation so you are at a disadvantage.
- Good sleep
Getting good sleep is essential for diabetes. Sleep deprived body tends to eat more that results in higher blood sugar level. Lack of sleep forces the body to produce less insulin or develop insulin resistance. In diabetes one needs to get 7-8 hours of sleep every day, without fail.
- Stress management
The body reacts to the stress by affecting the blood sugar levels. Stress increases the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol into the blood. With them too much in the blood, the body is unable to deal with the sugar level.
Meditation for 15 minutes a day in the morning can reduce a tremendous amount of stress. You also need to assure yourself that everything is fine and that you are going to have a good day ahead. You should also tell yourself that you are going to stay happy, no matter what. Breathing exercises reduce emotional stress and yoga is the best remedy for physical stress.
- Healthy skin
Diabetes causes dry skin because of poor blood circulation. Unattended dry skin can be itchy, scaly, and can also develop sores and wounds. You need to apply a good amount of moisturizer on to the skin in the morning after bath and before bed.
Keep the skin and body hydrated by drinking plenty of water, in excess. The skin is prone to rashes and other skin disorders so keep track of your skin health and promptly get medical attention when required.
- Oral health
Diabetes increases the chances of gum diseases and weak teeth. One might also get sores, ulcers, and infections in the oral cavity. Take proper care of the teeth. Regularly visit the dentist without fail to see that things are alright. Daily brushing and flossing help big time.
Diabetes can compromise the immune system. The blood that has high sugar content may not have the best defense against the pathogens. Diabetic patients are prone to common infections and flu. Having immune-boosting superfoods, more protein in the diet, and probiotics in the diet can help improve the poor immune system. Take Green tea for the antioxidants and that can help with immunity as well. Take a variety of herbal teas and black tea for good results.
Diabetes care should start from the home and with the lifestyle. The medications come only secondary. Knowing your body and understanding how to react to each change is one of the successful achievements in life. These factors matter more to a diabetic patient as it is the way to avoid many of the complications associated with diabetes.