A diabetic person has to take extra care of his body to maintain good health.
As a diabetic, you have a higher risk of foot problems. In serious cases, it can lead to amputations. Taking care of your feet is very important:
- Wash your feet daily with soap and water.
- After washing, dry them fully, especially in between the toes.
- Keep your toenails short, trimming them straight across to avoid ingrown toenails.
- Moisturise your feet daily to prevent dryness and cracking of the skin.
- Examine your feet daily for scratches, cuts, blisters and corns. Use a mirror to check the sole of your feet.
- Use shoes that fit well and wear clean cotton socks which have loose fitting elastic tops.
See your family doctor for screening of your feet every year.
If you have any corns or any wounds that are not healing well, seek help from your doctor as soon as possible.
Diabetes can cause severe eye problems where the small blood vessels in the eyes become damaged (diabetic retinopathy) and can lead to blindness.
It is important to have regular eye check-ups at least once a year.
You can get your retinae (inside surfaces of your eyes) photographed by a procedure called retinal photography to detect any damage to small blood vessels. The doctor might also perform laser photocoagulapathy, a form of high-powered light and heat energy, to prevent further damage.
Avoid skin injury as diabetes makes the skin more prone to many problems such as rashes, infections and colour changes.
- Wash every part of the body while bathing using mild soap and warm water.
- Dry all parts of the body using a clean towel.
- Pay attention when washing and drying skin folds in areas such as under the breasts, abdominal folds and groin area.
- Apply moisturising cream to keep skin moist and soft.
- Treat all cuts and scratches at once, wash with soap and water and then apply mild antiseptic lotion.
- See a doctor if the skin injury does not heal in two to three days.
Dental care is important as many infections start in the mouth.
- Brush your teeth twice a day – after breakfast and before bedtime.
- Use a soft toothbrush to prevent gum injury.
- Rinse your mouth after every meal or snack.
- Floss your teeth gently after meals to remove food particles between your teeth.
- Dental check-ups: Inform your dentist that you have diabetes and visit him at least once a year.