Healthy Living and Diabetes—Daily Home Care
November is Diabetes Awareness Month in the United States. That means it’s a perfect opportunity for you to review and consider whether you’ve developed a daily routine that will keep you safe—or one that puts you at further risk.
When it comes to diabetes complications, you actually have a lot of power and control over your life. The disease can do a lot of damage to your body—wounds that won’t heal, vision loss, mental decline. But if you develop healthy habits and stick with them, there’s no reason you can’t live a long, healthy, active, and full life. Are you developing these healthy habits?
- Test your sugar regularly. If your levels aren’t where they should be, know what you need to do to adjust them. The better you control your blood sugar, the less likely you are to develop nerve problems and other complications (and the more slowly they will progress).
- Keep your feet clean and moisturized. Wash them in warm water (test the temperature with a thermometer or your elbow if you have peripheral neuropathy). Dry thoroughly, moisturize, and put on a clean pair of socks. Change your socks as often as necessary throughout the day, and rotate between pairs of shoes (at least day on, day off) to give them a chance to dry out.
- Protect your feet. You should be wearing closed-toed shoes both indoors at out, especially if you suffer from neuropathy and might not feel an injury. If you have any structural foot problems or a history of wounds or foot injuries, you would probably benefit from custom orthotics and/or specialty diabetic shoes.
- Examine your feet daily. If you aren’t checking them carefully, even minor cuts, scrapes, blisters and bruises might go undetected long enough to develop into an infected wound. Use a mirror or recruit a loved one if necessary so that you can see the entire foot, including the soles, sides, and between the toes. Any trouble signs—including swelling, dry skin, temperature changes, bumps—should be noted and addressed if they do not appear to be improving.
- Get plenty of (safe) exercise. Regular activity will help you control your weight, manage your sugar better, and improve circulatory efficiency. All these things will help you feel better, and also help prevent complications from progressing.
Daily home care and healthy living are the most important components of comprehensive diabetes care. However, you should also have your feet and ankles inspected regularly—at least once per year—by the team at Omega Medical Group (OMG). Our team of multidisciplinary specialists will screen for circulatory and nerve problems, determine if any further preventative measures are necessary, and provide needed care. To schedule, please give us a call at (305) 514-0404.