In this article, we will discuss the possible ways to prevent the diabetes complications that diabetic patients may experience when they deal with this life-long disease. Since some of these complications can be life-threatening, it is vital to avoid them by taking the necessary precautions.
Before start talking about effective tips to prevent diabetes complications, it is sensible to briefly describe the disease for those who don’t know about it.
Moreover, we will share the prevalence of diabetes in the world with the numbers to show how close diabetes to every one of us.
According to WHO; Diabetes is a life-long disease that occurs either when the patient’s pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin or the patient’s body can’t use the produced insulin effectively.
Once again, based on a stat published by WHO: There are approximately 425 million diabetic patients worldwide. This number includes people who are aware of their disease. In today’s society, many people do not know they are diabetics. Whats’ more, every year, 1.5 millions of death throughout the world is attributed to diabetes.
It is a necessity to say that these given numbers are rising each passing day. Related to this, in many medical sources; diabetes is indicated as the pandemic of the near future. Therefore, it carries great importance to understand diabetes thoroughly.
In this article, we are giving 8 tips to prevent diabetes complications. It bears repeating, these complications can be life-threatening, so diabetic patients must prevent the occurrence of them with effective methods.
Please note that the below given 8 tips for diabetic patients have been prepared based on doctors’ view and scientific sources whose links indicated with red colour.
1- Drink Water, 2-3 litres Everyday
Even though a sufficient amount of daily water intake is vital for everyone, it carries greater importance for diabetic patients.
Drinking at least 2-3 litres of water each day prevents blood sugar level from increasing. Water is particularly important as the body tries to remove excess glucose through urine. Insufficient water intake can result in kidney problems in diabetic patients. Therefore, the recommended amount of water intake should be one of the diabetic patients’ priorities.
In particular, elderly people who suffer from diabetes may neglect water intake since their body may not warn them as to their thirst. Additionally, dehydration can bring about complications and becomes more harmful in the summer months. For this reason, especially in hot months, diabetic patients should consume at least 2 litres of water.
2- Prefer Complex Carbohydrates
Nearly all diabetic patients know how important to follow a well-balanced diet (generally) determined by a physician or a registered dietitian. In the case of an individual with diabetes is not careful about the foods choices, diabetes-related complication can occur as a result.
Many doctors suggest diabetic patients eat 6 times – 3 main meals and 3 healthy snacks. According to the Harvard School Of Public Health; since Simple carbohydrates increase blood sugar quickly, these simple carbohydrates may set off some diabetes-related complications. Therefore, diabetic patients- if possible- should choose complex carbohydrates that increase blood sugar level gradually.
Diabetic patients are liberal to eat whatever there is in their diet list determined by a physician or a dietitian. But it is sensible to limit simple carbohydrates to prevent blood sugar from rising suddenly.
3- Walk Every DAY – 40/60 Minutes
Physical exercise is one of the most important elements in diabetes treatment. Patients are told – unless they have restrictions to do so – by their physicians to exercise regularly in order to regulate their blood sugar level.
Among different forms of exercise, walking is indicated as the most suitable form of exercise by Cleveland Clinic for people with diabetes. Walking appears as one of the most sensible choices when it comes to exercising since nearly everyone from all age groups can carry out such exercise.
Walking every day for 40 to 60 minutes 1 hour after the meal can prevent diabetes-related complications. As a second option, doctors suggest swimming for regulating blood sugar level. Either walking or swimming, elders should consult their doctors as to exercise.
4- Foot Care
Foot care is a very important issue for diabetic patients. This is because the complications that may occur on a foot may result in the amputation of the patient’s foot.
The very first rule is to wash the feet with warm water and dry them afterwards. What’s more, diabetic patients should prefer cotton socks and make sure that the socks they wear do not tighten their feet.
According to ADA ( American Diabetes Association ); diabetes can cause changes in the foot skin. One of these changes is insufficient moisture of the foot. Hence, it is important for diabetic patients to use moisturising creams for their feet. On the other hand, it is equally important to avoid applying moisturising creams to the toe-web spaces.
Wearing socks even in the summer, never walking barefoot, choosing comfortable shoes are among the other methods necessary to prevent diabetes complications. Also, in the case of callus occurring on the foot, the patient should visit a dermatologist as soon as possible.
5- Do not Smoke
Avoid using tobacco products that should not be specific to diabetes disease. Anyone, who desire to healthy, long and happy life should avoid smoking.
However, when it comes to diabetes, avoiding tobacco products must be one of the very first rules to prevent complications. According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention aka CDC; Smoking makes diabetes harder to control regardless of the diabetes type.
In the same report; people with diabetes who smoke are likely to develop: heart and kidney disease, foot amputation, blindness and stroke. Therefore, if you are a smoker with any type of diabetes try to quit tobacco products or get help to quit.
6- Regular Heart, Kidney and Eye Screening
At the beginning of the article, we mentioned 1.5 million people die annually due to diabetes-related complications. Heart disease is one of the most serious complications of diabetes and the most common cause of death in people with diabetes. Therefore, it carries vital importance for patients to get their heart screened at least once a year.
Eyes are other organs where diabetes-related complication occur. Another report says diabetes-related retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness alone in America. In light of this, people with diabetes should their eyes checked regularly to see whether or not there is a risk of developing an eye complication.
And kidneys !! Poorly managed diabetes can cause serious complication for diabetic patients. According to Mayo Clinic: approximately 25 % of people with diabetes develop kidney disease. Therefore, diabetic patients should take care of their kidney health by visiting their physician.
7- Regular Check Blood Sugar
As mentioned earlier, diabetes is a life-long condition. As such, diabetic patients should know what is right and what is wrong about the disease while trying to regulate their blood sugar.
Another factor that diabetic patients should not overlook is being able to check and monitor their blood sugar level on their own. According to diabetes.co.uk; fasting blood glucose should be 72-99 mg/dl and below 140 mg as postprandial ( after eating ) blood sugar level.
8- Diabetic Hypoglycemia
Briefly, diabetic hypoglycemia is the insufficiency of sugar in the blood of people with diabetes. According to Mayo Clinic: Hypoglycemia is defined as a blood sugar level below 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), or 3.9 millimoles per litre (mmol/L).
People with diabetes should measure their blood sugar if they are suspecting low blood sugar in their blood due to the symptoms such as the feeling of hunger, tremor, sweating, palpitations, tingling in the lips and tongue, restlessness, fast heartbeat and blurred vision.
In this case of Hypoglycemia, it is important to eat 15 mg fast-acting carbohydrates according to Healthline. For instance, 1 tablespoon sugar dissolved in water or 1 tablespoon of honey. After 15 minutes check your blood sugar again. If it didn’t work eat more than 15 mg of fast-acting carbs.
Tarkan is an experienced health writer ( currently more than 600 articles ) and also the founder of this website namely www.neededforhealth.com. His expertise in health stems from in-depth medical research and knowledge which he obtained over the course of many years.
Tarkan enjoys sharing factual knowledge on health, psychology and nutrition. He always aims to deliver evidence-based recommendations, provide links to related scientific studies.