What knowledge about how diabetes affects people does a diabetic need? This is an important question and one that newly diagnosed diabetics should know the answer to as soon as possible.
Knowledge of diabetes involves many aspects which include management, monitoring and control.
First and foremost is monitoring this disease. There are many monitoring devices on the market and many companies that produce monitoring devices. Daily glucose monitoring is a diabetic’s first line of defense and is the best way to manage and control the level of glucose.
Next is managing the disease. A diabetic patient should have a primary care physician who they visit as often as advised and he or she will manage their medications or insulin therapy as well as order necessary lab tests. A diabetic patient will also need to watch their diet and there is great information on websites such as the American Diabetes Association on nutrition and diet control. There are also websites that have many new and delicious recipes for diabetic management.
The diabetic will also need to learn all they can about foot health care. Diabetics have a lot of problems with their feet. This is caused by nerve damage in the feet and the narrowing of blood vessels in the legs. These two problems can cause a tiny cut to become extremely infected and lead to gangrene of the foot. Gangrene can lead to amputation of the foot or leg.
If a patient has nerve damage in a foot, they might not be able to tell when they have a small cut or skin damage and an infection could start before it is even noticed. And with poor circulation, when there is a cut or any damage, there is not enough blood flowing to the foot to fight the infection.
The diabetic will need to learn proper foot care. This includes daily or frequently washing and inspecting both feet for small cuts, breaks in the skin, blisters, corns or calluses. Corns or calluses should be treated by a physician or nursing staff. Small cuts should be treated with antibiotic ointments.
Diabetes oral care is another very important area of management for people who have this chronic disease. Because of the problems with the level of glucose or blood sugar, diabetics have a higher than normal amount of dental care problems. This is because the diabetes when not under control reduces the number of white blood cells to fight infections in the mouth.
Part of the diabetic’s health care must include regular visits to the dentist at least every six months to keep teeth in good shape and to avoid any gum problems that can develop. Diabetics should also contact their dentist if they have any soreness in their gums, white patches in the mouth or if they notice a bad taste in the mouth. A diabetic must also have good oral hygiene by regularly bushing at least twice a day and flossing every day.
Eye care is another area that diabetic’s need to take care of. Diabetic retinopathy can develop which can lead to bad vision and even blindness. This is because the blood vessels in the back of the eyes get weak and can lead to blood and fluid leaking into the retina from these weakened blood vessels. So, it is important for the diabetic to have regular eye exams with dilation of the eyes so that the blood vessels in the eye can be examined.
What knowledge about how diabetes affects people does a diabetic need? Diabetics need to learn how diabetes affects blood vessels and how this affects every area of the body. Special attention should be given to self care with the feet, teeth and gums, as well as the eyes.