Starting over in 2023, Healthy Habits to Put into Practice!
Taking care of your diabetes by keeping blood sugars in range will help reduce your risk for complications as well. As we talked about in previous articles, high blood sugars can be damaging to blood vessels, which in turn affects the eyes, kidneys, and cardiovascular system. High blood sugars also make you more prone to infections, which is why dental care and examining the body for sores (especially the feet) is so very important. In addition, having diabetes makes you more prone to high blood pressure and high cholesterol. (1)
Many people with diabetes, especially if you are well controlled, will not have a lot of complications; and if you do have some complications, remaining in good control can help complications from getting worse and may even help them get better in certain cases. (2) Still, we need to reduce risk by practicing certain self-care behaviors.
As the New Year approaches, you can start over-and start incorporating these healthy habits into your routine:
1. Get an annual eye exam, and watch for any vision changes in between visits.
2. Have your feet examined yearly, ideally by a Podiatrist, or foot specialist. Check feet regularly for cuts, swelling, or redness. Your Podiatrist will also check feet to make sure there is no loss of feeling or nerve damage.
3. Have a yearly visit /check-up with your physician or Endocrinologist, (a doctor who specializes in diabetes care). At this visit blood work will be taken which should include kidney function test, cholesterol, vitamin D level, and HbA1c. You will also be tested for any nerve damage or balance issues. The HbA1c test is generally checked every 3-6 months to access diabetes control.
4. Have yearly dental visits-and cleaning every few months as recommended by your dentist. Patients with diabetes are more prone to gum disease and mouth infections. (3) Regular cleanings can help prevent infections and mouth inflammation.
5. Remember to take medications as prescribed; any questions you have- consult your pharmacist. Get regular vaccines such as your flu, COVID, shingles and pneumonia shot per recommendations by your health care team.
6. Get screened for sleep disorders/sleep apnea. Sleep disorders can cause blood sugars to rise. (4)
7. Exercise regularly, and eat a healthy diet. Start slow, any amount of movement will help reduce risk.
8. Avoid smoking or excessive use of alcohol.
9. Discuss your feelings with your health care professionals; if you are feeling especially sad -let them know so that you can be referred to a specialist to help you sort through your feelings.
10. Monitor blood sugars carefully. We at Tempramed are committed to making this part of your journey easier by protecting your insulin with our state-of-the-art device, VIVI Cap.
11. See a Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist; these professionals are specially trained to help you stay in control of your diabetes.
From all of us at TempraMed we wish you all the best in the new year with lots of health and happiness. We hope the VIVI Cap insulin cooler case serves you well and gives you a bit of peace of mind.