Complications of diabetes
You should learn basic diabetes management skills. They will help prevent complications and the need for medical care. These skills include:
It may take several months to learn the basic skills. Always continue to education yourself about the disease and its complications. Learn how to control and live with diabetes. Over time, stay current on new research and treatment. (See: Diabetes education.)
The American Diabetes Association recommends keeping blood sugar levels in the range of:
Regular exercise is important for everyone, but especially if you have diabetes. Regular aerobic exercise lowers blood sugar without medication and helps burn excess calories and fat so you can manage your weight.
Exercise can help your overall health by improving blood flow and blood pressure. Exercise also improves your ability to handle stress.
The following are important for preventing complications of diabetes:
To prevent problems with your feet, you should:
(See: Diabetes foot care.)
MEDICATIONS TO PREVENT COMPLICATIONS
Since those with diabetes have a much higher chance of developing heart disease, kidney disease, and other medical problems, they may need to take certain medicines to treat or prevent these problems.
An ACE inhibitor (or ARB) is often recommended:
Statin drugs are usually the first choice to treat an abnormal cholesterol level. Aim for LDL cholesterol level less than 100 mg/dL. (See: High cholesterol and triglycerides.)
To prevent heart disease, aspirin is recommended most often for people with diabetes. Ask your doctor if aspirin is right for you.
American Diabetes Association. Standards of medical care in diabetes -- 2009. Diabetes Care. 2009;32:S13-S61.
Buchwald H, Estok R, Rahrbach K, et al. Weight and type 2 diabetes after bariatric surgery: systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Med. 2009;122(3):248-256.e5. Review
Eisenbarth GS, Polonsky KS, Buse JB. Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus. In: Kronenberg HM, Melmed, S, Polonsky KS, Larsen PR, eds. Williams Textbook of Endocrinology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2008: chap 31.
In the clinic. Type 2 diabetes. Ann Intern Med. 2007;146:ITC-1-15.
U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Screening for type 2 diabetes mellitus in adults: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement. Ann Intern Med. 2008;148(11):846-54.
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