Controlling diabetes takes team work

Diabetes is a self-managed disease. Be a good manager.

Everyone should live like a person with diabetes that has learned to manage their condition well. Diabetes is a self-managed disease which is easier to deal with when a patient works as an active partner with a health care team. Your health care team should include a variety of health professionals such as your dentist, eye doctor, pharmacist, dietitian, podiatrist, physician and others that can guide you to be a healthy individual.

People with diabetes can have tooth and gum problems more often if their blood glucose, also called blood sugar, stays high. Diabetes can lead to infections in gums and the bones that hold teeth in place. Like everyone else, a person with diabetes needs to have regular checkups with a dentist twice a year for teeth cleaning and to have teeth, gums and mouth checked. If you do see any problems between visits call your dentist and make an appointment right away.

High blood glucose can damage parts of the eyes so it’s important that blood glucose is maintained as close to normal as possible. Diabetics should have an eye care professional examine their eyes once a year. Eye doctors can help identify eye problems early so that patients can seek early treatments to slow or prevent more serious problems later.

High blood glucose can hurt parts of your eyes so keep your blood glucose as close to normal as you can. Have an eye care professional examine your eyes once a year. Your eye care professional can help find eye problems early and get treatment soon that will help prevent more serious problems later.

Pharmacists are able to answer questions about diabetes medicines. They may also provide suggestions to make such treatments more effective.

Eating healthy and enjoying food is an essential part of controlling diabetes and being healthy. This is where a dietitian becomes an important part of the team. Nutrition experts can help patients develop meal plans that work well for each individual’s tastes and conditions.

Prolonged high blood glucose levels can damage the body’s nerves. Diabetic neuropathy refers to damage to the nervous system caused by the disease. The nerve damage in arms, hands, legs and feet can your extremities feel numb. Diabetics might not be able to feel pain, heat, or cold when they should. Taking good care of your feet is essential. A podiatrist can be a vital part of your health care team.

Your primary care physician is an important team member. You may choose to see an endocrinologist, a doctor with special training in diabetes. Be sure to have an annual physical and meet with your doctor regularly throughout the year to make sure that you are managing your diabetes well.

Good management of your diabetes can lower your risk of complications caused by uncontrolled blood glucose levels. Remember that diabetes is controllable; complications do not have to happen. Be a good manager of your diabetes for optimal health. A variety of health professionals can help you be a good manager of your own health. Keep up to date on the latest diabetes information. For more information visit the National Diabetes Education Program which research-based information about preventing and controlling diabetes.

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