Simple Advice For Diabetics
Living with Type I Diabetes is difficult, and with medical expenses so high and millions of Americans uninsured, additional stress is added to their lives. But, there are many things that YOU can do NOW that can prevent future damage to yourself and to your bank account.
- Check-ups, testing kits, insulin…it all can quickly add up – But it is essential to have the proper medical visits and supplies when you are living with diabetes. There are resources available to get financial help. http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/financialhelp/
- Get educated! There are numerous websites and online groups you can read about and join. The more educated you become, the more your health will see major improvement and your confidence in controlling your blood sugar will increase – This also means that you won’t have to pay for doctor visits that could be avoided simply because you are keeping your diabetes under control and regulated.
- Live a healthy lifestyle! What you do now, affects your body later on. There are many complications that can occur later on in life for someone who consistently had high blood sugar, had an unhealthy diet, didn’t monitor their blood sugar or didn’t have a checkup from their doctor at least once a year. Refrain from making excuses for yourself and realize that living with diabetes is a life change: make your main priority caring for your health – carry healthy foods with you and set aside time to exercise.
- One thing that my brother used to complain about was how painful and sensitive his fingers got from checking his blood sugar throughout the day. This resulted in him skipping or prolonging the next time he checked himself. We found out that by pricking the SIDES of his fingers, instead of the middle, results in significantly less pain incurred. By testing on the side and alternating which fingers you use, you are avoiding further pain and preventing calluses from forming. Also, avoid using alcohol to sterilize your fingers: frequent use of alcohol on your fingers for sterilization has been linked to causing cracked and dry hands. Instead, wash your hands with warm water – this is a dual benefit because it will also help increase the blood flow to your fingers.
- Take care of your feet! I don’t mean to pay for a pretty pedicure every other week, but try to keep your feet healthy and clean. This is important because if you have nerve damage or low blood flow, you are able to identify it right away. Your doctor will usually do a foot check, but you should still make an effort to protect your feet by wearing socks or slippers, and by checking them yourself daily.