Keeping your blood sugar well-controlled can help prevent diabetes complications. High blood glucose can damage your eyes, heart, kidneys and nerves.

Diabetes Complications – Prevention

You can control these risks by following a few simple steps. Maintaining a healthy weight, eating a healthy diet and getting regular checkups can help.

Diabetes Complications

1. Maintain a healthy weight

One of the best ways to prevent diabetes complications is to maintain a healthy weight. You can do this by avoiding unhealthy foods and eating a balanced diet. You can also try exercising regularly.

A healthy weight will decrease your risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol problems, heart disease, female health disorders, arthritis, some types of cancer and sleep apnea. Losing as little as 5-10% of your current weight can help you lower these risks.

Your diet should contain a lot of fruits and vegetables. These are rich in nutrients such as vitamins and minerals, fiber, potassium, magnesium and calcium. These foods will help control your blood sugar and reduce your risk of developing diabetes.

It is also important to drink plenty of water throughout the day. It can prevent dehydration, which may cause your blood sugar levels to rise. It is also good to avoid eating foods that are high in sugar, such as sweets, chocolate, ice cream, and sodas.

When you eat, stop eating when you are full. Eating too much food can cause you to gain weight.

You should also eat meals that are smaller in size and spread out throughout the day. Choose lean proteins, such as fish, poultry, egg whites and tofu, and fill at least half your plate with non-starchy vegetables, such as tomatoes, salads, and greens.

You should also avoid smoking because it can increase your blood pressure and lipids. It can also cause you to gain weight, which can make it harder to keep your diabetes under control.

2. Exercise regularly

Exercise is a key part of managing your diabetes. It can help keep your blood sugar levels in a healthy range and prevent many of the complications associated with diabetes, including high cholesterol, triglycerides and cardiovascular disease.

Regular physical activity can also help improve your insulin sensitivity, so you may need less of it to control your blood sugar. In addition, exercise can boost your mood and increase your energy level.

You can start by incorporating a few simple forms of exercise into your daily routine. Brisk walking, jogging, cycling and swimming are all excellent ways to get moving.

Make sure you check your blood sugar before and after you exercise. Your doctor can tell you how much exercise you should do, depending on your age and health condition.

The best type of exercise is aerobic, which means it’s good for your heart and helps your body burn fat. Aim to do 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week, such as brisk walking or swimming.

If you are a diabetic, talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise program and ask for advice on the right kind of exercise for you. If you are using insulin, it is important to monitor your blood sugar before, during and after exercise to keep it in a normal range and reduce your risk of hypoglycemia.

Before, during and after exercise it is also important to eat carbohydrates and fluids. This can provide enduring energy to get through the workout, and will also prevent dehydration.

3. Eat a healthy diet

Eating a healthy diet is one of the most effective ways to prevent diabetes complications. It can help keep your blood sugar levels under control and decrease your risk of other health problems, including heart disease and kidney disease.

A well-balanced diet should include plenty of fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products, and whole grains. Limiting saturated fats and added sugars is also important.

Fruits and vegetables are high in fiber, which helps slow down the rate of rise in your blood sugar level and promotes a sense of satiety. They are also a good source of vitamins and minerals, which can help maintain your health.

Legumes and beans are another healthy food choice to incorporate into your diet if you’re trying to prevent diabetes. These foods provide a lot of protein and are high in fiber.

It’s a good idea to make sure that you include legumes in at least half of your plate at each meal, says Ginn-Meadow. These foods are also high in nutrients like magnesium and potassium, which help lower blood pressure.

You can add other healthy food choices to your diet, such as fish and nuts, which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that can reduce the risk of heart disease and other serious health conditions.

Keeping your weight in check is also important for preventing diabetes complications. Losing 5 to 10% of your body weight can improve your blood glucose levels and lower your risk of developing diabetes.

Your doctor can help you manage your diet, exercise and overall health to ensure that you live a long and healthy life with diabetes. He or she can offer advice on what you can eat, when to eat and how much to eat. In addition, your doctor can recommend medicines and regular checkups to ensure that you’re taking care of yourself at all times.

4. Get regular checkups

Getting regular checkups and tests is one of the most important things you can do to prevent diabetes complications. It also helps you stay healthy and feel your best.

According to the Australian Diabetes Association, people with diabetes should get a general physical exam once a year. At this appointment, your doctor will check your blood pressure, cholesterol levels and other important factors. You will also be able to discuss your health with your doctor.

You should also have a full eye exam every year. This will help you catch problems like diabetic eye disease and retinopathy early. It will also save you money in the long run.

Additionally, you should get a microalbumin test, which is a urine test that checks for kidney problems. It measures the level of albumin, a protein, and the amount of creatinine, a waste product, which lets your doctor know if you have kidney damage.

Another important test is the A1C, which measures your average overall blood glucose over the past 3 months. A1C levels between 7 percent and 8 percent are considered normal. Talk with your doctor about the best way to manage your diabetes and keep your A1C in your target range.

It is also important to get a vitamin D test. This is because high blood pressure, bone loss, depression, cancer and other health conditions can be linked to vitamin D deficiency.

In addition, it is important to inspect your feet on a daily basis for cuts, sores, blisters and calluses. It is also important to let your doctor know if you have any changes to the skin on your feet, such as new growths or cracks in the skin.

5. Talk to your doctor

Talking to your doctor about your diabetes can help you understand the disease and make a plan for managing it. You’ll also be able to find answers to your questions and make changes to your treatment plan if needed.

Your doctor can help you develop a diabetes management plan that focuses on controlling your blood sugar and reducing your risk of complications. It can include a variety of different steps, from getting regular checkups to changing your diet and exercise habits.

In addition, your doctor may recommend a number of tests and screenings to detect any problems before they become serious. These can help you avoid serious health conditions, such as blindness, kidney failure, heart disease, and nerve damage.

A key test your doctor should order is the A1C test, which measures your average blood sugar level over the past two or three months. It should be done at least twice a year, if not more often.

Another important test that your doctor should perform is a blood pressure check. High blood pressure can be a big factor in developing diabetes-related complications, such as heart disease or stroke. Your doctor should monitor your blood pressure at each visit and help you lower it through healthy lifestyle choices like losing weight, eating a low-fat diet, and exercising regularly.

You should also have your urine checked for a protein called microalbumin, which can indicate kidney problems in the early stages of diabetes. Your doctor can also check your blood for a waste product that can build up in your kidneys when you have diabetes, known as creatinine.

A final tip is to keep a record of your medical visits and tests. This way, you can easily track your progress and spot any potential problems that might be preventing you from managing your diabetes effectively.

In conclusion, preventing diabetes complications involves maintaining good blood sugar control, adopting healthy lifestyle habits, and working closely with a healthcare team. This includes regularly monitoring blood sugar levels, taking medication as prescribed, eating a balanced and nutritious diet, engaging in regular physical activity, and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. It is also important to manage any other health conditions, such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol, as these can increase the risk of diabetes complications.

Working closely with a healthcare team, individuals with diabetes can receive personalized treatment and guidance to help prevent complications and improve their overall health and well-being. Additionally, it is important to stay up-to-date on recommended health screenings and check-ups, such as eye exams and foot exams, to detect and treat any potential complications early on.

If you have questions or concerns about preventing diabetes complications, consider speaking with a healthcare provider through ClinicAll’s online consultation platform to get personalised advice and guidance. Remember, with the right care and management, individuals with diabetes can lead healthy and fulfilling lives.