Monday, March 9, 2009

Prevention Diabetes Complications

Make every effort to keep your blood sugar levels within a normal or near-normal range to slow the progression of your complication and reduce your risk for developing others. Eat a diet that spreads carbohydrate throughout the day, get regular physical exercise, and take your prescribed oral diabetes medication or insulin. You can prevent or delay the development of complications from type 2 diabetes by keeping your blood sugar levels within a normal or near-normal range (tight control). Scientific evidence shows that tightly controlling blood sugar levels:
Prevents the development and progression of small blood vessel (microvascular) disease and nerve disease (neuropathy). Slightly reduces your risk for heart and large blood vessel (macrovascular) disease from diabetes. If you are age 30 or older, talk to your health professional about taking a low-dose, or baby, aspirin daily to help prevent heart attack, stroke, or other large blood vessel disease (macrovascular disease). People with diabetes are 2 to 4 times more likely than people who don't have diabetes to die from heart and blood vessel diseases. Prevention and early detection To prevent and detect complications early: Don't smoke. If you quit smoking, you will reduce your risk for developing early damage to the blood vessels caused by diabetes. For information on how to quit smoking, see the topic Quitting Tobacco Use.
Inspect your feet daily, wear properly fitted shoes, do not go barefoot or use home remedies, and have yearly foot examinations. If you have poor vision, have someone else examine your feet daily and help you with foot and toenail care. Keep pathways in your home clear of objects that could cause a fall.
Report blurred vision, floaters, or flashes of light to your doctor immediately, and have yearly eye exams by an ophthalmologist or optometrist. Have yearly urine tests for protein. At the first sign of small amounts of protein (microalbuminuria), talk with your doctor about whether you can take a high blood pressure medication, such as an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor or an angiotension II receptor blocker (ARB).
Get effective treatment for high blood pressure and high cholesterol. You may take an ACE inhibitor, ARB, or other medications to keep your blood pressure consistently below 130/80 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). You also may need to take cholesterol-lowering medications such as statins (for example, Lipitor, Zocor, or Pravachol) to reach your goals. Have yearly exams to test for touch and feeling sensations in your feet and legs and report any symptoms of digestive, sexual, or urinary problems or signs of hypoglycemia unawareness as soon as you notice them. Other preventive measures Keep your immunizations up to date. Diabetes affects your immune system, increasing your risk for having a serious case of the flu, pneumonia, or other infections. For the recommended immunization schedule, see the topic Immunizations.

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