A common misconception of diabetes is that it is not serious because it’s treatable. It is possible that you feel fine while diabetes takes a large toll on your body. It’s even possible you don’t experience symptoms for months or years.

Effect of Diabetes on the Body

When blood glucose is high, your hearing, vision, and mental state and sleep patterns are all affected.

  • Diabetes is a leading cause of blindness, amputations and kidney failure.
  • Diabetes causes your risk for heart attacks and strokes to triple.
  • Diabetes has a large impact on the fine nerves in your hands and feet, but also affects the autonomic nervous system that controls the automatic functions of your body (such as heartbeat, digestion, urination and sweating).
  • In severe cases, diabetes can lead to ulcers and other wounds that lead to amputation.

Preventative Steps to Control Diabetes

The best way to prevent diabetes complications is to carefully control and monitor your blood glucose.

  • Blood sugar levels should be kept as close to your goal as possible to prevent damage or to help slow down damage.
  • To maintain good glucose levels, exercise and diet are cornerstones to healthy living (with or without diabetes).
  • It’s important to understand carbohydrate counting and portion sizes, as well as making every meal a well-balanced meal.
  • In addition, make sure to avoid sugar-sweetened foods and beverages. Coordinate your meals and medications so your blood sugar does not become dangerously low (too little food can cause this).

Physical activity is an equally important aspect of managing diabetes. Consult with your doctor to determine which type of exercise would be best for your lifestyle and level of health. Generally speaking, 30 minutes of daily exercise is recommended for adults. While exercising, make sure to stay hydrated and monitor blood sugar levels. Keep a snack handy in the event that your blood sugar drops too low.

November is National Diabetes Month and is a time to come together to stop diabetes. Regular follow-up care is essential to managing your diabetes.