Caregiver Assistance News

Article from the Mauston Office Newsletter

Diabetes Care and Precautions

Diabetes can affect many parts of the body, and can
lead to serious problems such as heart disease,
blindness, kidney damage, and lower-limb
amputations. People with diabetes can reduce these
risks with the help of their doctors, families, and
caregivers. This means controlling the levels of blood
glucose (blood sugar), blood pressure, and blood lipids
(cholesterol), and receiving regular preventive care.
Older people with poor control of blood sugar levels
often have problems with thinking, depression, and
other disabilities. If you are caring for an older person
who has diabetes, be sure they see the doctor on a
regular basis to be evaluated. Good diabetes care can
help reduce the risk of complications.
Blood Sugar—Diabetes is a disease in which the body
does not produce or properly use insulin, a hormone
that is needed to covert sugar, starches and other food
into energy. In order to keep the amount of blood
sugar in the blood from becoming too high, people
with diabetes take supplemental insulin in pill form, by
pump, inhaled or by injection. Caregivers are often
responsible for blood sugar testing.
Insulin Shock—Blood sugar levels can also become
too low from giving too much insulin or from poor
diet, resulting in a serious condition called insulin
shock or hypoglycemia. Signs include: shaking,
nervousness, feeling faint, or even passing out. Call
911 immediately if the person faints and is
unresponsive.
Blood Pressure and Cholesterol—People with
diabetes are more likely to have a heart attack or
stroke. Lowering blood pressure and cholesterol
through better diet and medication can help limit this
risk. Lowering blood pressure also reduces stress on
the kidneys.
Weight Control and Exercise—Eating regular,
balanced meals that include carefully measured
portions can help keep diabetes under
control. Caregivers should limit the
amount of candy, cookies, and other
desserts given to someone with diabetes.
Always read food labels for hidden
sugars in unexpected places such as
crackers, bread crumbs, and ketchup. Sometimes,
simple measures such as watching the diet, losing
weight, and increasing exercise can bring diabetes under
control.
Eye Care—People with diabetes should see the eye
doctor regularly. Laser therapy can reduce the
possibility of severe vision loss caused by diabetes.
Signs of Diabetes
Some people with diabetes have no symptoms until they
find out from a routine blood test. Some symptoms—
• Feeling very thirsty
• Urinating often
• Feeling very hungry or tired
• Losing weight without dieting
• Sores that heal slowly
• Dry, itchy skin
• Pain, tingling or loss of feeling in the feet
• Blurry vision
Healthy Eating
Eating the right amount of food will also help manage
blood glucose level and weight. Portion size examples:
☞ 1 serving of meat or poultry is a deck of cards
☞ 1 3-ounce serving of fish is a checkbook
☞ 1 serving of cheese is six dice
☞ 1/2 cup of cooked rich or pasta is a rounded handful
or a tennis ball
☞ 1 serving of a pancake or waffle is a DVD
☞ 2 tablespoons of peanut butter is a ping pong ball
☞ Drink water instead of sweetened beverages. If you
drink alcohol, drink moderately—no more than one
drink a day if you’re a woman or two drinks a day if
you’re a man.

Nobody can go back and start a
new beginning, but anyone can
start today and make a new

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