- According to Health Insurance, around 4 million people had diabetes in France in 2019.
- Diabetes is a chronic disease, linked to poor production or use of insulin by the body.
Blindness, heart attack or even kidney failure: diabetes can cause various complications, linked to the poor regulation of blood sugar. “Repeated and prolonged hyperglycaemia leads to long-term damage to nerves and blood vessels throughout the body. explains the French Federation of Diabetics. Specialists from the Mayo Clinic, located in the United States, offer ten tips to better manage your diabetes and avoid these complications.
Learn to manage your diabetes well
They recommend that those affected obtain information about the disease, adopt good habits by practicing daily physical activity and watching their weight. It is also important to control your blood sugar correctly and to take your treatment scrupulously.
Smoking, a risk factor for complications of diabetes
“Smoking increases your risk of type 2 diabetes and the risk of various complications”, emphasize the specialists of the Mayo Clinic. Smoking reduces blood flow to the legs and feet, which can lead to infections or ulcers, which can lead to amputation in the most serious cases. But smoking is also harmful to eye health, nerves, kidneys and cardiovascular health.
Blood pressure and cholesterol to be controlled to limit the risks associated with diabetes
High blood pressure and high cholesterol can damage blood vessels. But diabetes also degrades these vessels, the accumulation of these different pathologies can cause serious health problems including heart attack or stroke. Health professionals at the Mayo Clinic advise eating a balanced diet, limiting fat and salt intake, limiting alcohol and exercising, and even taking appropriate treatment if necessary.
Monitoring your health to better control the effects of diabetes
“Schedule two to four diabetes exams per year”, advise these specialists. These appointments make it possible to check that the disease has not caused complications for the eyes, kidneys, nerves or even the heart.
Getting vaccinated also means protecting yourself!
Diabetes increases the risk of contracting certain diseases. To guard against this, scientists at the Mayo Clinic recommend getting vaccinated when possible. For example, it is advisable to receive the vaccine against influenza, pneumonia, hepatitis B and tetanus.
Diabetes: the importance of taking care of your teeth
Diabetes increases the risk of gum infection. “Brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, floss once a day, and schedule dental checkups at least twice a year.”, they advise. In case of redness, bleeding or swelling, contact a dentist quickly.
The feet, limbs weakened by diabetes
“High blood sugar can reduce blood flow and damage the nerves in your feet.”, they continue. A cut or a blister can degenerate quickly, and lead to infections. It is important to have a rigorous hygiene of the feet, while moisturizing them well, and to check their condition every day to detect the slightest wound. Members of the Mayo Clinic advise against walking barefoot, whether indoors or outdoors.
Should you take aspirin every day in case of diabetes?
According to these specialists, some people should take aspirin every day to reduce their risk of heart problems, but for some, the risks associated with these drugs seem to outweigh the benefits. “Ask your doctor if daily aspirin therapy is right for you, including what dosage of aspirin would be most appropriate.”they say.
Alcohol, to be consumed in moderation and with caution
Everyone should drink alcohol in moderation, but people with diabetes should be even more vigilant because drinking alcohol can cause blood sugar levels to drop or rise. “If you choose to drink, do so in moderation, meaning no more than one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men. suggests the Mayo Clinic. Always drink with a meal or snack.”
Stress, a risk factor for people with diabetes
Diabetes management can become overwhelming and stressful. But the latter can push us to neglect care, essential to the prevention of complications. The Mayo Clinic advises people with diabetes to learn how to reduce stress by practicing relaxation, getting enough sleep, and setting daily limits so they don’t get overwhelmed.