Diabetes management is not only important for the senior, but for caregivers and loved ones of an elderly diabetic. If you or a loved one is diabetic, it's important to help control your diabetes, maintain your overall health, and prevent diabetes-related medical complications.
Diabetes management defines your focus on managing your diabetes. For example, do you regularly check your blood glucose levels and know why you need to do so? Do you know about diabetic peripheral neuropathy or why foot care is so important to diabetics?
Knowledge is power. The more you know about diabetes management and your diabetic condition, the more closely you can plan your meals, ensure adequate nutrition, reduce your risk of diabetic complications and maintain optimal health and wellness by keeping track of your blood glucose levels and insulin injection timing.
Diabetes that is not carefully monitored can lead to other complications such as kidney disease, nerve damage, and eye disease. Damage caused by long-term diabetes that is not adequately or properly managed may lead to cardiovascular issues such as stroke or heart attack, vision impairment and even blindness, as well as amputation.
Foot care is extremely important to diabetics, who may have a loss of sensation or feeling in their lower extremities due to damage to the nerves caused by diabetes. Foot sores, blisters, and cuts are often slow to heal and may develop into severe wounds that are very stubborn to heal. Such wounds, without prompt and intensive care, may become infected. One of the most common diabetic complications in such situations is infection and development of gangrene in such wounds. Gangrene often requires amputation of the toes, foot or lower extremity to prevent sepsis or infection from spreading through the body.
One of the most common complications of diabetes is neuropathy, or damage to the nerves. The vast majority of individuals with diabetes develop some type of neuropathy, according to the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse. Staying on top of your diabetes, following the diet, exercise and lifestyle as recommended by your doctor can help prevent such complications.
As a diabetic, what you eat, when you eat, and how much you eat has a direct influence on your blood glucose levels. Following the meal plan that your doctor or nutritionist has advised for you, as well as following portion control and adequate timing of your meals, combined with blood glucose level checks and insulin injections may help you control your diabetes to the point where you can enjoy a relatively normal and active lifestyle.
When it comes to nutrition, meal planning, portioning, and watching the types of carbohydrates you eat may have a direct impact on how well you feel throughout the day. Eating the right kinds of foods and eating snacks at certain intervals during the day may help prevent rapid drops in your blood glucose levels.
Maintaining steady blood glucose levels within optimal ranges often require individuals to test their blood sugars several times daily. Neglecting to do so may prevent you from enjoying the best in energy, ability to participate in activities, and in how you feel.
Keeping track of your blood glucose levels in a journal, talking to your doctor about different types of insulin, and alternative methods for insulin injection may help you enjoy a more active lifestyle. Insulin pumps are one option for many active individuals, and learning about alternate site testing may help reduce pain in your fingertips and prevent calluses that keep you from doing things that you enjoy.
The most common reason that most seniors neglect test their blood sugar levels is because they don't understand what the numbers on the blood glucose monitors really mean. If you don't understand your blood glucose readings, either as a diabetic or a caregiver of a diabetic, talk to your doctor, log onto the Internet, and research the topic. Those numbers are extremely important to your health and wellness.
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