Wellness Archives - Mantachie Rural Health Care, Inc.
(662) 282-4226
Open hours: Mon 7:30am – 7:00pm, T/W/Th 7:30am – 5:30pm, Fri 7:30am – 4:00pm
The Most Common Early Signs of Autism

The Most Common Early Signs of Autism

Autism spectrum disorder is defined as a neurodevelopmental disorder affecting a child’s social skills, communication, and development. One in 54 children will be diagnosed with autism. In many cases, signs of autism begin to show while children are still babies. 

Today we’re looking at the most common early signs of autism. These signs may not be obvious at first because most autistic babies still sit, crawl, and walk on time. Hitting these milestones makes it easy to overlook other delays in developmental milestones such as body gestures, pretend play, and developing a social language. Subtle differences in children with autism may present before their first birthday and typically become more obvious by 24 months of age. 

Before we share the common early signs of autism, it’s important for parents to know that symptoms vary by each child and your child could show some, all, or none of these signs and still be on the spectrum. Remember that if your gut, or parental instinct, is telling you something is off, it’s a good reason to contact your child’s medical provider and get an answer. 

Common Social Differences

Many babies with autism fail to keep or make very little eye contact, even with parents. They also don’t usually respond to a parent’s smile or facial expression. Other social differences you may observe include:

  • Not looking at objects or events the parents point to
  • Not pointing at objects to direct your attention to them
  • Not bringing objects of personal interest to show to parents
  • Not showing appropriate facial expressions such as a smile when given a toy
  • Not showing concern or empathy for others
  • Being unable to or uninterested in making friends

Communication Differences

In addition to not pointing to things, babies on the autism spectrum often don’t say single words by age 16 months. They may also repeat what others are saying without understanding the meaning of the words. Other communication differences to watch for include:

  • Not responding to their name being called but responds to other sounds like a cat’s meow or a loud horn. 
  • Referring to themselves as “you” and mixing up pronouns
  • Often seems to want to avoid communication
  • Cannot start or continue a conversation
  • Regression in language skills or other social milestones between ages 15 and 24 months

Behavioral Differences

These are some of the most obvious signs of autism. Stereotypical behavioral differences such as rocking back and forth, spinning, twirling fingers, flapping hands, and walking on toes are the most common differences in children with autism. Children with autism may also:

  • Like routines, orders, or rituals and have difficulty with changes or transitioning to a new activity
  • Be obsessed with a few or unusual activities they perform repeatedly
  • Play with parts of toys instead of the whole thing
  • Appear to not feel pain
  • Be or not be sensitive to certain smells, sounds, lights, textures, or touch. 
  • Have an unusual use of their vision or gaze

If you’re reading this, you may have concerns about your child and autism. Your family medical provider is the best place to start getting answers. Mantachie Rural Healthcare can help. Request an appointment today at 662-282-4226. 

What is Social Pain and Why It’s More Common Than Ever

Social pain isn’t a term one hears often. But in the last year, the number of people suffering from social pain is greater than ever due to the effects of the pandemic. Social distancing, unexpected deaths from covid-19, canceled events and plans, and political unrest are just a few contributors to the increased number of people experiencing social pain. 

What is Social Pain?

Social pain refers to the painful emotions caused by situations involving other people. Emotions include but are not limited to feeling rejected, alone, ostracized, devalued, abandoned, disconnected, and grief. A study by the University of Sao Paulo suggests the pandemic has caused a substantial spike in social pain. Social pain is often a reaction to the loss of relationships by way of rejection, abandonment, moving away, death, etc. Social distancing and quarantining has increased the negative emotions associated with social pain due to the lack of contact with people whose relationships we value. 

The Benefit of Social Pain

Like physical pain, the function of social pain is to alert us to threats to our social well-being. In turn, these emotions will deter us from doing things that undermine our relationships. Social pain often leads us to make more effort to maintain intact relationships.

How to Cope with Social Pain

Social pain is not unmanageable. In fact, most steps taken to treat these negative emotions are done at home. The first step to managing social pain is to accept that what you are feeling is real. These feelings are completely normal but do not indicate something is wrong with you. However, these emotions may mean your social connections are not where you want them to be. 

Managing your thoughts is the next step. Learning to train your thoughts away from the source of your pain keeps you from wallowing in your feelings. Find an interesting distraction like a hobby, music, reading, working out, or even watching a compelling movie or television show. Practicing meditation is another way to train your mind to control your thoughts. 

Social pain responds to sensorial experiences which means doing something as simple as moving your body or resting can take your mind off your pain. Looking at beautiful and colorful things, listening to music, taking a warm bath or shower, and even grabbing a hug from a loved one or pet living in your home can ease feelings of social pain. 

Finding ways to connect with others is also essential. The more personal and direct the communication is, the better it works to treat social pain. Video chats and phone calls work best but email and texts are better than nothing at all. Reminiscing with old photos, letters, or messages as well as thinking about positive memories of your loved one can also take away negative feelings. 

Of course, if your social pain lasts longer than two weeks or more with no relief, seek help from your healthcare provider. Mantachie Rural Health Care provides both medical and mental health care and can help you get over the hump of social pain. Click here to request an appointment now. 

Foods That Help You Focus

Brain food. We’ve all heard the phrase. But is brain food a real thing? Can you improve your brain’s overall ability to think, focus, and recall memory with your diet? The short answer is yes, you can! Turns out a number of foods and beverages can improve your brain health and provide other health benefits as well. 

Caffeine and Glucose Offer Brain Power in Limited Moderation

Believe it or not, caffeine and sugar glucose–not table sugar, but naturally occurring sugars like those found in fruits and vegetables–are brain-powering foods as long as you have them in limited moderation. A cup of coffee helps you be more alert while a glass of orange juice or other fruit juice offers a quick brain boost. Limiting the amount of caffeine and sugar is essential–too much of either can impair your memory and concentration. 

Breakfast is Key

Many studies have proven that people who eat a healthy breakfast perform better overall than those who don’t eat breakfast. A good, brain-powering breakfast consists of high fiber whole grains, dairy, and fruit. Healthy proteins are also encouraged but don’t think any breakfast will do. Dining on high-calorie breakfast meals can actually hinder your concentration. 

Fish = Good for Your Heart and Mind

Fish is a superfood for good reason. The poultry of the sea is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, nutrients that are vital to both your brain and heart health. In fact, eating two servings of fish a week can lower your risk of dementia and stroke, and other age-related conditions. 

Nuts, Seeds, and Dark Chocolate for Brain-Healthy Snacks

Need a quick pick-me-up for the afternoon lag? Reach for a handful of nuts or an ounce of dark chocolate. Nuts and seeds are rich in vitamin E while dark chocolate is full of brain-enhancing antioxidants. Like caffeine and natural sugar, eat these foods in strict moderation. Just one ounce of each of these foods per day is all you need to improve your brain health.

Don’t Forget the Whole Grains and Avocado

If guacamole is a lunchtime favorite, you’re in luck. Fruits like avocados improve blood flow, which improves all other functions in your body including the brain. Along with whole grains, avocados lower your risk of heart disease and decrease bad cholesterol as well, making them both superfoods you should include in your regular or daily diet. 

Brain-Protecting Blueberries

Need another superfruit to add to your diet? Blueberries may just be the most super of all the superfoods. This tiny round fruit may protect the brain from damage from free radicals–the kind of damage that leads to dementia and other age-related conditions. Blueberries may also reduce the effects of Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and similar diseases. 

Bagel Up for a Big Day

Lox and bagel sandwiches may not be a thing here in the South but head anywhere north of the Mason-Dixon line and you’ll find this breakfast meal in every bakery or restaurant that sells a bagel. A “lox” is a brined salmon fillet. As it happens, experts recommend preparing for a big day by eating a whole-grain bagel with salmon for breakfast and washing it down with a glass of juice and cup of coffee for maximum brain power. Perhaps it’s time to add lox and bagel sandwiches to a Southern menu near you!

As always, consult with your provider or dietitian before beginning a new diet. Want to get a better check on your brain health? The new year is a great time to schedule your annual wellness visit. Click here to request an appointment now. 

Everything You Need to Know About a Plant-Based Diet

Everything You Need to Know About a Plant-Based Diet

The plant-based diet is a buzzphrase heard more and more in healthcare clinics and even in everyday conversations among friends. But what exactly is the eating strategy behind the buzzphrase? And why do more experts than ever insist that a plant-based diet is the way to go for optimum health?

The Truth About Plant-Based Diets

Despite some beliefs, the term plant-based diet is not another term for a vegetarian or vegan diet. Rather, plant-based diets are focused on eating more foods from plants than other food sources such as meat and poultry. Plant-based diets also avoid processed foods and refined sugars. People who follow this plan might be flexitarian, or semi-vegetarian, in which they mostly consume food from plants, as well as eggs, dairy, and the occasional meat, poultry, fish, or seafood. Pescatarian diets are similar to flexitarian without the consumption of meat or poultry. Vegetarians include egg and dairy products in their diet while vegans consume no animal products at all. 

Another myth about plant-based diets is that people on these diets are often tired and don’t get enough fats and proteins. A well-rounded plant-based diet includes plenty of healthy fats and proteins through certain plant-based oils, nuts, seeds, legumes, and beans. 

Why Plant-Based Diets Are Good for Your Health

Plant-based diets have been rising in popularity over the last several decades for a number of reasons. The long-standing and still highly recommended Mediterranean diet is a plant-based flexitarian diet. It also includes fish, eggs, yogurt, and cheese a few times per week with meat and poultry less often. This diet has been linked to a decreased risk of heart disease, diabetes, metabolic syndromes, and depression. It’s also been known to reduce the risk of certain cancers including breast, colon, and prostate cancers. Older adults who follow the Mediterranean diet also enjoy a lower risk of frailty and better mental and physical health. 

You don’t have to follow the Mediterranean diet to get health benefits. Any diet that focuses on whole foods from plants and other natural food sources is better for your overall health and wellness than a diet based on processed and refined foods. Plant-based diets have also been linked to needed weight loss. This also lowers the risk of certain conditions like diabetes and heart disease. 

How to Start Following a Plant-Based Diet

Beginning a plant-based diet is actually easier than it sounds. The first step is to add more fruits and veggies to your shopping list and incorporate servings into each meal or snack of the day. You’ll also want to include other plant-based foods like good fats such as olive oil, olives, nuts, nut butter, seeds, and avocados. The next step is to increase the number of fruits and veggies on your plate while reducing the amount of meat to a garnish rather than the main course. Make sure you’re including at least one good portion of greens on your plate each day. Try to mix it up among different greens like spinach, kale, or collards. Keep your diet fresh by changing up how you cook your veggies for each meal. 

Experts also recommend consuming at least one all-vegetarian meal per week that includes whole grains, beans, and veggies. You should also build at least one meal a week around a salad and consume whole grains for breakfast each day. Yummy whole-grain breakfast options include oatmeal, quinoa, buckwheat, and barley, which can be paired with fruit, cinnamon, and other plant-based flavors. 

Although a plant-based diet is considered to be good for just about everyone, it’s always best to discuss any new diet changes with your healthcare provider or dietitian first. We can discuss your diet concerns and proposed changes at your next wellness appointment with Mantachie Rural Healthcare. Call 662-282-4226 or click here to request your wellness visit now. 

Who Will Be the First to Receive the Covid-19 Vaccine?

Who Will Be the First to Receive the Covid-19 Vaccine?

As this is being written, the first round of British citizens has received a new COVID-19 vaccine by the Pfizer company. If approved by the Food and Drug Administration, the same vaccine could be shipped to the U.S. by mid-December 2020. Another vaccine by the Moderna company is also in line for approval. If all works out, both vaccines will be in use by January. The question is, who gets the first round of vaccines in the United States?

Two elderly people were the first to receive the vaccine in the UK (Britain). The US, however, plans to take a slightly different path with the first rollout of immunizations. Instead, US healthcare workers, who are considered at the highest risk for contracting covid-19, will receive the first round of vaccines along with residents of nursing homes and long-term healthcare facilities. Residents of these facilities have so far accounted for 39% of deaths caused by Covid-19 in the US. 

What We Know About the COVID-19 Vaccines So Far

At this time, both Pfizer and Moderna have vaccines at the ready to be distributed upon authorization by the FDA. When approved, the first doses will be shipped out within 24 hours. Both vaccines will require a second dosage. Pfizer’s vaccine requires a boost three weeks after the first dose. Similarly those who receive the Moderna vaccine will need a second dose after four weeks. 

Who will Decide Who Gets the COVID-19 Vaccine First?

Choosing which healthcare workers will be the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccine is a decision that will be left up to each state. Right now, each state has a designated group of experts deciding who is at the highest risk. Some states may elect to vaccinate critical care nurses and physicians along with respiratory therapists and other workers who risk the most exposure to the virus. Others could decide to vaccinate their oldest healthcare workers first along with those working the frontlines. At this time, Mississippi plans to issue the first round of vaccines to frontline healthcare workers. 

After frontline workers and long-term care residents have been vaccinated, essential workers will be the next to receive the vaccine. Essential workers include but are not limited to employees in law enforcement, emergency response, food and agriculture, transportation, manufacturing, and education. Some states may prioritize certain industries that have been more affected. Arkansas, for example, intends to prioritize poultry workers, who have taken a hard hit during the pandemic. Each state will make these decisions based on its individual needs and demands. 

Adults with medical conditions that place them at a higher risk for serious illness as well as adults over 65 will be the next group to get immunized. Some states may elect to prioritize vaccinating elderly over 75 first. After that, the vaccine will be open to all healthy adults in the US by May or June if all goes accordingly. 

What You Can Do Now to Protect Yourself

By publication of this article, the first rollout of vaccines should be available in the US. However, it will still be months before all of those at risk of the virus can receive the vaccine. That means we must continue to wear masks and socially distance from one another until the vaccine is readily available to all. Continue to avoid large gatherings and be smart when you must go out in public. If you develop symptoms, quarantine yourself from others immediately, and contact your healthcare provider to schedule a testing appointment. 

Mantachie Rural Healthcare is available Monday through Friday. If you are sick and need an appointment with us, dial 662-282-4226. 

Vitamin D, Coronavirus, and Your Overall Health

New studies reveal interesting and pertinent information about vitamin D and the coronavirus that could just save lives.

Over 80 percent of hospitalized coronavirus patients also have a vitamin D deficiency. These patients also have higher blood levels of inflammatory markers However, there is no link between lower levels and severity of the disease. In another study, Spanish researchers gave 50 patients a prescription of vitamin D. One participant went into intensive care. No participant died. Half of the 26 patients who did not receive the vitamin needed intensive care and two of them passed away.

Another US study found patients with adequate vitamin D levels were less likely to become unconscious or die from covid-19. 

What the Latest Research Means for Treating Covid-19

So what does all of this research mean in the treatment of covid-19? The answer is still unknown. Many new studies are being conducted as we speak. Some research suggests a link between vitamin D and the C-reactive protein, a marker for severe covid-19. Others are looking at how vitamin D relates to coronavirus’ cytokine storm. A cytokine storm occurs when the body’s immune system starts attacking its own cells and tissues rather than fighting the virus. 

Interestingly enough, researchers who took a look back at the 1918-1919 Spanish flu pandemic found that patients with sufficient vitamin D levels were also able to fight off the disease rather than succumb to it. This and other recent studies on vitamin D and its effects on overall health lends more credence to the fact that vitamin D is a significantly vital nutrient to our wellness. 

Vitamin D is also crucial in fighting other diseases such as multiple sclerosis and heart disease. It helps strengthen your bones and prevent osteoporosis, a bone disease that causes the bones to be brittle and weak. Vitamin D can also decrease depression and boost weight loss. It’s important to note that people with vitamin D deficiencies are more likely to experience depression. If you are a frequent sufferer of depression, talk with your healthcare provider about your vitamin D levels. If they are low, your provider can help. 

Why People Have Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D is known as the sunshine vitamin. That means people with a deficiency must suffer from lack of sunshine. Right? Well. You’re not totally wrong, though there are other factors that can contribute. For instance, people with darker skin have a harder time absorbing vitamin D from the sun. Pollution, sunscreen, and living in big cities where buildings block the sun also contribute. And yes, staying indoors too much is a factor. 

How to Get the Vitamin D You Need

First, talk with your provider before beginning any supplement and find out if you need one. Vitamin D overdose is a real thing and it’s just as dangerous as being deficient. In addition to supplements there are many delicious food alternatives that provide the vitamin D your body needs. Options include salmon, sardines, shrimp, egg yolk, and fortified milk, cereal, yogurt, and orange juice. 

Concerned about your vitamin D levels? This another great subject to discuss with your provider during your annual checkup. The end of the year is quickly approaching. If you haven’t scheduled a wellness visit this year, now is the time. Give us a call today to schedule your appointment.

What Happens When You Quit Smoking: A Timeline

What Happens When You Quit Smoking: A Timeline

Following through on your decision to quit smoking is hard. Especially in the beginning. But, if you can tough it out through those crucial first few days and weeks, your body and health will reward you later. You don’t have to wait long to start noticing (good) changes in your body. In fact, your health begins improving just 20 minutes after your last cigarette. Here’s what you can expect.

20 Minutes

Your blood pressure and pulse rates return to normal a mere 20 minutes after your last puff. Your hands and feet warm to normal temperature, too. 

8 – 12 Hours

Your blood now contains half the nicotine and carbon monoxide it had after your last smoke. Unfortunately, you’ll be able to feel this change through cravings and doubts about quitting. Push through it. These cravings typically only last about 5-10 minutes. Four short hours later, your heart is rejoicing because it no longer has to pump as hard. Your carbon monoxide levels are also now completely normal.

24-48 Hours

Your risk of a heart attack has lowered after just one day. After 48 hours, your sense of smell and taste have sharpened as the nerve endings in your nose and tongue heal. Your lungs are also expelling nasty mucus and gunk. You may feel tired, hungry, anxious, or dizzy. These are normal withdrawal symptoms. Warning: These symptoms will worsen before they get better. Keep going. After a couple of weeks, you’ll notice great improvement. If you have asthma, you may experience worsened symptoms in the first 48 hours. This is also normal and symptoms typically improve around day 3.

72 Hours

By day three your lungs are stronger and clearer. The fatigue you felt the day before is gone and you’ll have notably more energy.

Two Weeks to Three Months

The worst withdrawal symptoms should be over and your risk of a heart attack continues to decrease. Your blood flow has already improved and if you exercise you’ll notice you are less winded. 

Three to Nine Months

Your breathing is deeper and clearer. Your coughs are now helpful and you’ll likely have fewer colds and other respiratory illnesses. 

One Year

Congratulations! You’ve hit a major milestone. Your body rewards you with a better heart. Your risk of heart disease is cut in half. Celebrate your achievement!

Five Years

In half a decade, your risk of a stroke and cervical cancer are equivalent to that of a person who has never smoked. Your risk of mouth, throat, esophageal, and bladder cancer has also decreased by half. 

10 Years

You are now half as likely to die of lung cancer as a smoker. Your risk of developing laryngeal or pancreatic cancer has dropped significantly. 

15 Years

Your chances of heart disease are now the same as a person who has never smoked. Time to celebrate again!

What You Need to Know About Antibiotics

What You Need to Know About Antibiotics

Antibiotics are one of the most misunderstood types of medicine in the world. Many people misuse them simply because they don’t know any better. However, misusing these medications can result in serious consequences which is why the information in today’s blog is so important. Take a look at what you need to know about antibiotics.

What are antibiotics?

These medications stop bacterial infections. First discovered about a century ago during the 1920s, they advanced modern medicine forever. Surgeries became safer and doctors now cured bacterial infections many of which they considered deadly before the discovery.

Doctors prescribe two main types of antibiotics, broad-spectrum and narrow-spectrum. As the name suggests, broad-spectrum treats a wide range of infections while narrow-spectrum treats specific types of infection. The varying types of antibiotics are important reasons why you should never give someone else one of these medications which were prescribed for you.

Types of infections treated with antibiotics include:

  • Strep throat
  • Bacterial meningitis
  • Dental infections
  • Skin infections
  • Whooping cough
  • Bacterial pneumonia
  • Bladder or kidney infections

You’ll notice that illnesses like stomach viruses and colds are not listed because these medications cannot treat viruses. In most cases, your provider will tell you to wait out the virus or prescribe an anti-viral drug if one is available for your particular infection.

These drugs can pose a number of side effects including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, bloating, abdominal pain, and loss of appetite. In rarer instances, antibiotics can result in hives, coughing, wheezing, or trouble breathing. These symptoms are signs of an allergy to the specific medication you are taking or they could also be a sign that you are allergic to more than one or all antibiotics. People with known allergies are especially at risk when given an antibiotic prescribed to someone else and they should never, ever take these medications except under the strict prescription and observation of their healthcare provider. 

Other Crucial Information

If you’re a woman on birth control, your healthcare provider should warn you to use other methods of contraception while taking an antibiotic. They can disrupt the effectiveness of your birth control medication. They can also cause vaginal yeast infections in some women.

Overuse of these medications is one of the most common ways people misuse these powerful medicines. Unfortunately, overuse can result in a sometimes deadly resistance to antibiotics. How does this happen? Over time, bacteria adapt and become “super bacteria” that are untreatable with medication. The best way to avoid overuse is to only take medications as your provider prescribes them. If your provider tells you you don’t need this type of medication, listen to them. 

Patient education is important to us and your health often depends on understanding basic health information like today’s details on antibiotics. One way you can increase your understanding of health information is to visit your healthcare provider each year for a primary care checkup. During this appointment, you will have the opportunity to ask any questions you have about your health or general health information. To schedule your primary care appointment with us, click here.

The Benefits of Choosing a Nurse Practitioner for Your Primary Care

The Benefits of Choosing a Nurse Practitioner for Your Primary Care

Nurse practitioners are the heartbeat of our clinic and provide most of the primary and urgent care services we offer at Mantachie Rural Health Care. In recent years, nurse practitioners have proven more important to the healthcare industry than ever before, especially related to primary care. In fact, you might say nurse practitioners have set a new standard for primary care and here’s why. 

Nurse Practitioners Offer a Higher Quality of Care

According to Columbia Doctors/Nurse Practitioners Group, more than 80 percent of nurse practitioners train in primary care. At least half of all NP’s have hospital privileges. These privileges allow NP’s to admit and order services for their patients. 

Nurse practitioners also focus on providing counseling and patient education as part of their patients’ primary care. They consider factors like the patient’s lifestyle and both their physical and mental well-being when it comes to determining the type of care the patient needs. Nurse practitioners provide care for the whole person rather than focusing on one or two health concerns. 

What Can a Nurse Practitioner Do?

To put it simply, nurse practitioners can do just about anything doctors can do, except performing surgical procedures on their own. NP’s can determine diagnoses and provide treatment for acute and chronic illnesses. They can also order diagnostic tests like x-rays and blood tests, and become board-certified in specialties like family care and women’s health. 

Why Should I Choose a Nurse Practitioner for My Primary Care?

If the reasons above aren’t enough, perhaps you’ll be convinced by knowing that nurse practitioners are more accessible than doctors. This means no waiting weeks or even months to get an appointment. 

You’ll also appreciate the shorter wait times and the diverse services offered. Nurse practitioners seek to meet all of the needs of their local community regardless of how different each one might be. Our NPs allow us to offer a wide range of services from diabetes care to women’s health care. Our NPs also provide primary and urgent care services for the whole family. This includes childhood immunizations and yearly checkups for the whole family. 

The experienced nurse practitioners at Mantachie Rural Health Care want to help manage you and your family’s health care. Get started with us today by requesting a primary care checkup here.

What Caregivers Need to Know About Caring for Their Diabetes Patient

Caregivers serve a crucial role in the successful treatment of diabetes.

Caregivers serve a crucial role in the successful treatment of diabetes. Diabetic patients have many daily responsibilities required to keep diabetes under control. They often need support from a dedicated caregiver to accomplish each task. A caregiver of diabetes patients share in the daily responsibilities of their diabetic loved one and also provide emotional support. 

Six Things New Caregivers of Diabetes Patients Should Know

If you are a new caregiver for a diabetes patient, you may feel overwhelmed. The first step you should take is to create a support team for both you and your loved one. Your support team consists of your loved one’s healthcare providers and other family members or close friends who can provide additional support or act as a substitute for you when you need a break or have other responsibilities. A support team helps curve your burden as a primary caregiver. It also helps the patient with their own needs concerning their new diagnosis. 

The next step you should take as a caregiver of a diabetes patient is to educate yourself as much as possible. We offer a number of articles right here on our website about diabetes education. You can also find excellent information on trusted health websites like Mayo Clinic and the American Diabetes Association. Each month we hold monthly diabetes education classes. We recently started sharing a series of live videos on our Facebook page.

Caregiving for diabetes patients requires patience, especially in the beginning following a new diagnosis. Your loved one will need your patience as they try to understand their condition and adjust to their new lifestyle and routines. Daily diabetes care like reading labels, foot care, monitoring blood glucose levels, and administering insulin take time and can be points of frustration. Keeping calm and collected not only helps the caregiver but the patient as well. Stress can increase blood glucose levels. Your loved one may feel stressed if they sense that you are impatient or unhappy. 

Caregivers should be willing to “walk the walk” when it comes to living a healthier lifestyle. Diabetes patients are encouraged to follow their new healthy diets and exercise routines when they see their support doing the same. Let your loved one see you eat healthily and exercise with them for motivation.

What Caregivers Can Expect Each Day

Caregivers should expect to help their loved one with all of their daily diabetes responsibilities. Some of those include keeping blood sugar levels regulated and checking their skin for signs of diabetes-related issues. Your loved one may need help monitoring their blood sugar levels, following a set eating schedule, exercising, and creating healthy meals based on their healthcare provider’s recommendations. You will need to make sure they receive plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration. Caregivers should also monitor how their loved one feels throughout each day and help them learn to manage stress. 

Daily grooming is extremely important. Diabetics often suffer mouth and dental problems. Following good oral health habits like brushing at least twice a day and flossing daily are crucial for maintaining mouth health. Foot care is just as important. Diabetes patients are more likely to have an infection from ingrown toenails. Which means their feet and toes should be checked daily. Toes should be trimmed regularly to prevent ingrown toenails and the nails should never be rounded at the corners when trimmed. Diabetics need to wear shoes all day even at home. New shoes should be worn for the first few days at home for 1-2 hours before checking for new blisters. 

Diabetics are also more susceptible to skin infections and non-healing wounds than people without diabetes. Patients will need to be checked each day from head to toe for signs of red spots, sores, calluses, and blisters. 
Mantachie Rural Health Care offers support for diabetic patients and their caregivers in a number of ways including diabetes education classes. Follow us on Facebook for updates on our next class.


Our Providers Are Ready to Help You

Request Your Appointment Now