Reducing Risks

 

Effective risk reduction behaviors such as smoking cessation, and regular eye, foot and dental examinations reduce diabetes complications and maximize health and quality of life. An important part of self-care is learning to understand, seek and regularly obtain an array of preventive services.

Diabetes educators assist patients in gaining knowledge about standards of care, therapeutic goals, and preventive care services to decrease risks. Skills taught include smoking cessation, foot inspections, blood pressure monitoring, self-monitoring of blood glucose, aspirin use and maintenance of personal care records. What can you do?

You can reduce your risks for several complications by taking these precautions:

  • Stop smoking
  • Schedule regular medical checkups
  • See an opthalmologist (eye doctor) at least once a year
  • Keep your feet dry and clean. Look out for redness or sores, and report these to your healthcare team as soon as you find them. If you have trouble checking your feet, ask a family member or friend to help you, or using a mirror that lays on the ground might help.
  • Be sensitive to your body. Recognize when you aren't feeling well, check your blood glucose and contact your diabetes care team if you need help solving the problem.