With work and proper care, diabetes is a controllable disease

LAKEWOOD -- When you were a kid you probably thought that there was no possible way that anyone could ever have too much sugar, right? How could something that tastes so sweet and good be bad?According to the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse (NDIC), a division of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, too much sugar in the blood for extended periods of time may cause diabetes problems. For example, high blood sugar can cause damage to the heart, kidneys and blood vessels. For the diabetic patient there is a lot that must be done and maintained for blood sugar levels to remain at normal levels. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, diabetes is a disease that affects more than 16 million Americans. Ninety-five percent of all diabetes cases can be attributed to Type 2 diabetes. Those most prone are over the age of 40, obese, inactive or have a family history of the disease. It is responsible for blindness, amputations, kidney failure, heart disease, stroke and death. The NDIC has several recommendations for the diabetic patient to follow to control their diabetes in the best way possible. These include things that should be done every day and things that should be done every time you have a check-up. Daily diabetic care: •Stay on the diet that has been established by your physician or dietician. Eat your meals and snacks at about the same time every day. •Get at least 30 minutes of physical activity. •Take your diabetes medications at the same time every day. •Check your blood sugar. Keep a record of the time you took your blood sugar and the numerical result. •Examine your feet for cuts, blisters, swelling, redness or sore toenails. •Brush and floss your teeth. •Don't smoke. What should be done during a check-up: •Share your blood sugar records with your physician. •Get weighed. If your weight is too high, discuss ways to reduce it. •Have your blood pressure taken. A good goal for most people is less than 130/85. If yours is higher, discuss ways to reduce it. •Discuss your diabetes medications and any problems you may have from them. •Go over your diet, the times you eat, and how your blood sugar levels respond. •Discuss your emotional health and how you are handling the affects of your diabetes. •If you are a smoker, make a plan to quit. As a kid, you probably never would have thought that sugar could cause you to have to pay attention to so many issues. Controlling diabetes can be a lot of work, but preventing complications and diseases that are associated with diabetes makes it well worth the effort. ********** Published: March 20, 2009 - Volume 7 - Issue 48