If you’re living with diabetes, you likely know the importance of a healthy diet, a healthy weight, and controlling your blood sugar. These factors, along with many others, can maintain your health and ward off complications. Complications can include heart disease, stroke, organ damage and amputation. But these aren’t the only conditions you should worry about. Living with diabetes increases your risk of gum disease, thus it’s important to practice good dental hygiene.
Gum disease is an inflammatory condition that affects the gum tissue. Because you’re more prone to gum disease, brushing frequently throughout the day is a necessity. While someone without diabetes may brush three times a day, someone with diabetes may brush after every meal or snack. Flossing is also crucial to avoiding gum disease. This practice removes plague and other particles from around the gum line.
If you’re living with diabetes, never underestimate the importance of regular dental checkups. Even if you brush and floss multiple times during the day and avoid sugary foods, dental visits contribute to your oral health. Schedule checkups every six months – or as recommended by your dentist.
When it comes to what foods for diabetics should be avoided, there are obvious and less-than-obvious culprits.
The most obvious food or drink to avoid is, of course, sodas and other sweetened drinks. Such drinks will wreck havoc on one’s blood sugar and give non-diabetics a 26 percent higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
But there are other less-obvious foods that diabetics should avoid, one being white bread, which is quickly digested by the body, causing blood sugars to rise. Red meats and other processed meats high in saturated fats are a bad idea, as are many packaged foods high in trans fats.
Fortunately, there are many health options available to diabetics, especially fresh fruits and vegetables, to help keep blood sugars in check. Fiber-rich foods are also essential as they not only help control blood sugar levels but can also decrease the risk of heart disease. And eat fish at least twice a week – fish has less fat than meat and are also high in omega-3 fatty acids.
Of course, not all diabetics are alike, so it is important to work with a dietician to establish a regimen that is right for you.
There is a lot that goes into managing diabetes. Diet, exercise and medication all work together to keep a person’s blood sugar under control. But another big part of managing diabetes is understanding the risks involved. Many people don’t understand the serious health complications that can arise from type 2 Diabetes and they aren’t going to the doctors.
These serious complications include heart disease and stroke. People living with type 2 Diabetes are at a far greater risk of dying from heart disease. It is the leading cause of death.
Many folks with type 2 Diabetes have high blood pressure. If they have not been diagnosed, they may not be taking the proper prescription medication that will help to keep their pressure under control. High blood pressure makes it more difficult for people to fight off what could be dangerous infections.
People with type 2 Diabetes are at a much greater risk of kidney disease and nerve damage. This nerve damage accounts for many leg and foot amputations. If a person has not been treated for type 2 diabetes, they are at serious risk for glaucoma and cataracts. They may also have retinopathy, which can lead to blindness.
If you are overweight and lead a sedentary lifestyle, it is imperative that you are seen by a doctor so they can diagnose if you have type 2 diabetes. Nevertheless, you should embark on a healthier lifestyle and reduce these risks even if you test negative for the condition.