Have Diabetes? Watch Out for These Everyday Activities
When you have diabetes, there’s a lot to keep track of – blood sugar levels, carbohydrate count and your diet, exercise. On top of that, some seemingly harmless daily activities can actually be bad for your health. That’s because diabetes can lead to complications with your skin and nerves, which can affect your feet, hands, eyes, kidneys and other important organs. With that in mind, here are five moments to be mindful of if you have diabetes:
- A trip to the coffee shop: Caffeine can cause blood sugar levels to rise (especially if there is added sugar and cream) and in turn, will make the pancreas work harder to produce more insulin. So it’s important for people with diabetes to watch their caffeine intake. Not everyone will react to caffeine the same way, but try to have less than 200 milligrams a day (what you’d find in a cup or two of coffee, depending on how strong it is brewed).
- Swinging by the gym: Regular exercise is a key to good health. It can help keep your blood pressure, cholesterol levels and blood sugars in check while improving your A1C. You must be extra careful about wearing the right sneakers and socks. Make sure the shoes are supportive, clean and designed for the activity you’re doing and your socks should be clean, fit right and allow your feet to breathe. And always talk to your doctor before starting any exercise regimen.
- Treating yourself to a pedicure: Getting your toenails painted is a great way to relax, but reschedule your appointment if you have any cuts or infections on your feet. Also, once you’re at the salon (make sure it’s a clean one!), remember to notify your pedicure technician that you have diabetes before they get started. They’ll be more gentle on your skin to avoid scratching it.
- Washing your face at night: As many as one third of people with diabetes get some sort of skin issue caused by the disease. When you wash your face, don’t use water that’s too hot and make sure to prevent dry skin with a good moisturizer.
- A walk on a sunny day: People with diabetes have a higher risk for vision loss, so remember to protect your eyes from UV rays by always wearing sunglasses. Look for lenses that block 100 percent of UV rays and wear them even if it’s cloudy outside.
Remember keeping your blood sugars in good control will help any person with diabetes prevent complications.
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