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Protect Your Body From Diabetes

Diabetes can affect many different areas of the body – wherever the blood flows. When there is excess sugar in the blood, it becomes thicker and harder to push through the vessels. Thus, blood flow may be diminished when going all the way to the feet and toes, resulting in some loss of feeling or numbness.

High blood sugars can affect the kidneys, cholesterol, eyes, nerves, limbs, or skin.
The kidneys filter the blood before it goes back to the heart to get pumped through the body again. High blood sugar can damage blood vessels. If the toxic waste from your body isn’t eliminated by the kidneys, it can build up and over time cause problems with the kidneys not being able to do their job efficiently.

If blood sugars are high, it can cause your cholesterol numbers to be elevated. To improve your cholesterol levels, increase the fiber in your diet (whole grains, vegetables), exercise regularly to help the blood flow more readily and limit fried, processed, frozen and fast foods.

Your vision can be affected by high blood sugars. Years of high blood sugars can damage the small vessels of the eyes causing some bleeding from the vessels. This can affect the vision and may cause eventual blindness. Take action now to lower blood sugars through exercise, reducing portions of food at meals and taking all medications as prescribed. Get your annual eye exam.

Nerves can be affected by high blood sugar. It may manifest in numbness, sharp pains, tingling or pain, often referred to as neuropathy. Some patients can tell when their blood sugars are high because they have more foot pain or tingling. Follow your dietary guidelines of eating more frequent small meals and moving more to encourage oxygen flow throughout the body.

Look at your feet every day. Note any redness, irritated areas, sores or excessive calluses. The feet are the farthest from the heart so often don’t get the circulation of blood that they need to be able to stay healthy. See your doctor as soon as possible, if there are any problems with your feet. Improved blood sugars can sometimes help reduce pain or tingling.

Continuous high blood sugars cause the body to lose fluids, resulting in dry skin. Also drink at least 4 bottles of water daily to stay hydrated. Keep our skin clean and use moisturizer and sunscreen regularly.

If your blood sugars are too high, make an appointment with your doctor to determine ways to improve your blood sugars and decrease these complications.

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Type 1 diabetes occurs most frequently in children and young adults, although it can occur at any age. Type 1 diabetes accounts for 5-10% of all diabetes in the United States. There does appear to be a genetic component to Type 1 diabetes, but the cause has yet to be identified.

Type 2 diabetes is much more common and accounts for 90-95% of all diabetes. Type 2 diabetes primarily affects adults, however recently Type 2 has begun developing in children. There is a strong correlation between Type 2 diabetes, physical inactivity and obesity. People with Type 2 diabetes may hear their condition described as “mild,” but Type 2 diabetes is not a “mild” medical condition.