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How to Manage Common Complications of Diabetes.

Managing diabetes requires monitoring different aspects including complications, in order to sustain good health. Whether it’s keeping track of blood sugar levels or embracing lifestyle adjustments, taking proactive steps can greatly mitigate the likelihood and severity of diabetes-related issues.

Kidney damage

Kidney Damage (Diabetic Nephropathy): Over time, high blood sugar levels can damage the kidneys’ filtering system. This condition, called diabetic nephropathy, can lead to kidney failure if left untreated. Monitoring blood sugar levels and managing blood pressure through medication and lifestyle changes are crucial in preventing or slowing the progression of kidney damage.

More often than not, the signs and symptoms of kidney damage may come in quite late, but then you may start to develop;

Confusion,  Swelling on the legs or arms what we otherwise refer to as oedema, Nausea, vomiting, and Very high blood pressure could indicate a problem with your kidneys.

When the kidneys are damaged, you may go to a state where you have no urine output completely, or it may reduce so much.

It’s important to;

  • Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial for managing diabetes effectively and preventing kidney damage. Regularly checking blood sugar levels helps ensure they stay within a normal range, reducing the risk of complications.
  • Monitoring blood pressure is equally important, as uncontrolled hypertension can also contribute to kidney damage.
  • Adhering strictly to a diabetes-modified diet is essential. This diet emphasizes non-starchy vegetables, healthy protein sources, complex carbohydrates, and unsaturated fats, supporting overall health and diabetes management.

There are other causes of kidney damage, even in people who don’t have diabetes, this means that as soon as you feel pain, reduced urine
output, or a state of no urine production, it will be wise to get medical attention.

Foot Damage

Wounds That Are Not Healing (Diabetic Ulcers): High blood sugar levels can impair the body’s ability to heal wounds, especially in the feet. This increases the risk of infections and complications like diabetic ulcers, which can lead to amputation if not properly treated. Proper foot care, including daily inspection, wearing appropriate footwear, and prompt treatment of any wounds, is crucial for preventing diabetic ulcers.

 It’s important to;

  • It’s essential to maintain foot hygiene by washing them daily, particularly before bedtime, and regularly inspecting for cuts and sores. When dealing with wounds, it’s crucial to seek assistance from a trained medical professional rather than attempting home remedies.
  • Wearing properly fitting shoes and non-constrictive socks helps prevent undue pressure on the feet. When trimming nails, opt for a nail cutter instead of a razor to minimize the risk of injury.
  • Thoroughly drying the feet, particularly between the toes, is important for preventing moisture-related issues.

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA): Diabetic ketoacidosis is a severe complication that occurs when the body produces high levels of blood acids called ketones due to a lack of insulin. It can lead to coma or death if not treated promptly. Monitoring blood sugar levels regularly, taking insulin as prescribed, staying hydrated, and seeking medical attention immediately if experiencing symptoms of DKA (such as excessive thirst, frequent urination, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, confusion, or fruity-smelling breath) is crucial for preventing and managing this complication.

Important is to;

  • It’s critical to avoid abruptly withdrawing from insulin therapy without proper guidance from a healthcare professional. Frequent blood tests are necessary to monitor for any abnormalities and ensure optimal diabetes management.
  • Maintaining blood sugar levels within a healthy range is essential for overall health. Following a modified diabetic diet can be instrumental in controlling blood glucose levels and supporting long-term well-being.

Cardiovascular disease

Cardiovascular Diseases: Diabetes significantly increases the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack, stroke, and peripheral artery disease. Managing blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure through medication, a healthy diet, regular exercise, and avoiding smoking are essential for reducing the risk of cardiovascular complications.

Eye Damage (Diabetic Retinopathy

Eye Damage (Diabetic Retinopathy): Diabetes can damage the blood vessels in the retina, leading to diabetic retinopathy, which can cause vision impairment or even blindness if left untreated. Regular eye exams and keeping blood sugar levels under control are essential for preventing or delaying the onset of diabetic retinopathy.

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