The glucose level of your blood can affect your blood vessels and nerves of your entire body. Damage to these blood vessels and nerves can lead to health problems with your eyes and feet. You can keep your eyes and feet healthy when you have diabetes by following these tips.
Know how to monitor your glucose level, blood pressure and cholesterol level.
Exercise on a regular basis.
Keep regular appointments with your doctor
Make sure you consume a healthy diet
Stop smoking or alcohol consumption if you do either of these habits.
Eye problems diabetics are at risk for:
If you do not control your glucose level you may be at risk for retinopathy. Retinopathy is diabetic damage to the small blood vessels of the retina. The retina is the part of the eye that is sensitive to light and that sends messages to your brain about what you are seeing.
If the blood vessels of your retina become damaged due to high levels of glucose in your blood, you may experience fluid leakage, which will then cause swelling in your macula. The macula is the part of your eye that is responsible for giving you clear, sharp vision.
If the retinopathy worsens, the eye may begin to form new blood vessels over the retina. Scar tissue will form, which than causes the retina to break away from the back of the eye, which will result in blindness.
If retinopathy is found early, laser treatment can help to keep you from going blind.
You can prevent diabetic retinopathy by making sure that you have regular eye exams (twice a year). The early signs of retinopathy can only be detected by special equipment that your eye doctor uses.
You should contact your eye doctor immediately if you notice blurred vision that lasts longer than 2 days, you suddenly lose vision in one or both eyes, or you see black spots, cobwebs or flashing lights (that are not really there).
Caring for your feet when you are diabetic:
If your blood vessels in your feet are damaged you will not be able to receive adequate amounts of blood in your feet. Damage to blood vessels in your feet can cause you to experience numbness or painful tingling in your feet. A lack of blood supply can compromise your ability to fight off infection in your feet. This is why sores on the feet of diabetics often are difficult to heal.
Diabetics should regularly check their feet for the presence of blisters, calluses, or ingrown toenails. All of these conditions can cause feet problems.
You should have a professional check your feet at least yearly as well as monitor them yourself on a daily basis.
To prevent foot problems wash your feet daily in warm water and soap, gently pat them dry never rub your feet. Use lotion on your feet but NOT between your toes. Change your soaks on a daily basis.
Do not go barefoot. Wear soft leather shoes (deerskin) that provide plenty of room for your toes. If your toes should rub together place lamb’s wool between them. Make sure your toenails are cut. Soak them in warm water (for 10 minutes) before cutting them to make it easier to cut the nails.
Do not cut into the corners or too close to your skin. Keep your feet warm, but avoid using hot surfaces such as heaters, fireplaces, or water bottles if you have a loss of feeling in your feet to avoid burns.
Always call your doctor if you need to treat corns or calluses.
Balancing blood sugar is critical but it is only part of the overall ‘equation’. It is important that you provide your body with extra nutrients of the right type to help prevent your body deteriorating and be impacted by one of the associated conditions. There are many products on the market today that will help naturally balance blood sugar but it is necessary to go beyond this alone.
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Originally posted 2008-12-23 10:51:08.
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