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How to Prevent Diabetic Eye Disease

How to Prevent Diabetic Eye Disease

It’s Vision Month and the perfect time to discuss how to prevent diabetic eye disease. Diabetic eye disease is actually a group of complications including glaucoma, cataract, and diabetic retinopathy. Each of these diseases can lead to vision loss or blindness. Early detection, timely treatment, and careful follow-up may help prevent vision loss.

How Diabetes Causes Eye Disease

Diabetic eye disease is caused when uncontrolled or poorly controlled diabetes leads to damage of the retina’s blood vessels. Damage to these blood vessels can lead to swelling of the macula, the central part of the retina that allows you to see details. 

Damage to the retina caused by diabetes can also lead to bleeding or scarring of the eye, glaucoma (high blood pressure in the eye), and even retinal detachment. Read more about diabetic eye diseases here.

Prevent Diabetic Eye Disease

Although diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of vision loss around the world, many of these cases can be prevented with proper eye care and diabetic care. In fact, the first step in preventing diabetic vision loss is to control your diabetes. Controlling your blood sugar begins with a proper diet, regular exercise, and checking your blood sugar levels regularly.

Talk with your provider or dietitian about maintaining a diet low in sugar and simple carbs. Cook at home as often as possible using fresh ingredients and avoid consuming too much red meat. Don’t forget to add plenty of veggies to every meal. 

Try to get at least 150 minutes of exercise each week, even if it’s a simple brisk walk a few days a week. Walks are one of the best and simplest ways to get in aerobic exercise. As always, discuss any new exercise or physical activity with your provider before you begin. 

In addition to taking care of your diabetes, you should also schedule a dilated eye exam at least once a year with your eye care provider. Your provider may want to see you more often depending on your risk of vision problems. Early detection and treatment can save your vision. 

Even patients who are already experiencing vision problems due to diabetes can get help and slow further progression of eye disease. Your eye care provider may be able to perform a laser procedure or refer you to a specialist who can perform the procedure to help stop the progression of eye disease and reduce swelling. 

If you have diabetes, you need a primary eye care provider to assist your diabetes care providers in preventing complications caused by the disease. Your primary care provider can refer you to an eye care specialist if you don’t currently have one. To schedule an appointment with your Mantachie Rural Healthcare provider, click here.

Diabetes and Heart Health

Diabetes and Heart Health

People with diabetes are twice as likely to experience a heart attack or stroke compared to people without the condition. Today we’re reviewing the facts about diabetes and heart health.

Heart disease is the number one killer of people with diabetes–it’s responsible for two-thirds of deaths in people with type 2 diabetes. Luckily, you can lower your risk of heart disease with proper diet, exercise, and diabetes management with these steps.

Symptoms of Heart Disease

Also known as cardiovascular disease, or CVD, heart disease can lead to a heart attack or even heart failure. Knowing the symptoms of these conditions can save your life. Symptoms of heart disease include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Pain in your:
    • Chest
    • Throat
    • Back
    • Legs
    • Neck
    • Jaw
    • Upper abdomen
    • Arms

Symptoms of a heart attack are:

  • Pain, discomfort, tightness, or pressure in the chest
  • A fullness that may feel like indigestion or heartburn
  • Discomfort in one or both of your arms, back, neck, jaw, or upper abdomen.
  • Shortness of breath
  • Indigestion, nausea, vomiting
  • Tiredness, fatigue, or lightheadedness

Symptoms of heart failure include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Weakness
  • Nausea
  • Quick or irregular heartbeat
  • Coughing with pink-tinged mucus
  • Fatigue
  • Swelling of feet and ankles

What you can do to improve your diabetes and heart health

The best way to stay on top of your heart health is to manage your diabetes well. Keep your blood sugar in range as often as possible. Practice a good diet and exercise, take your insulin and medication as prescribed, and attend all doctor’s visits. Seek support from your medical professionals, family, and loved ones and frequently check your A1C, LDL, and blood pressure.

What you and your medical provider do and discuss during your appointments matters. At every visit, be sure that your blood pressure is checked and discuss your blood sugar meter readings. Check your weight and talk about your diet as well as changes in your lifestyle work, or emotions, and be honest about your physical activity levels. Discuss all medications and have your feet checked. If you smoke, ask for help quitting and ask if you should begin an aspirin regimen to lower your risk of a heart attack. 

In addition to these steps at every visit, you should also have your A1C checked every three to six months. Once a year, get a dilated eye exam, a flu shot, and a complete foot exam. Have your cholesterol levels checked at least every five years or more often if your levels are not on target. 

For more information about heart disease and diabetes, visit the American Diabetes Association here.

American Diabetes Association Celebrate Removal of Medicare Requirement that Delayed Access to CGMs

The American Diabetes Association and diabetes patients across the country are celebrating a recent change to a Medicare requirement that delayed access to continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) for many patients with diabetes. Before July 18, 2021, Medicare patients with diabetes had to stick their fingers at least four times a day to qualify for coverage for a CGM. This requirement prevented many patients who could benefit from a CGM from access to the technology. 

Advocate teams for the American Diabetes Association (ADA) worked closely with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to remove the finger-stick requirement. The ADA has championed the removal of this requirement for many years. Considering one in five Medicare beneficiaries also have diabetes, the removal of this barrier makes a considerable difference for the community of patients with diabetes.

What is a Continuous Glucose Monitor?

A continuous glucose monitor delivers real-time, “dynamic” information about blood sugar levels to patients with diabetes. This technology has led to better management of diabetes and overall improved health outcomes. 

How Newly Qualified Patients Get Coverage

Newly qualified individuals with diabetes now only need to undergo a simple, no-finger-stick approval process to get coverage for a CGM. Out-of-pocket costs depend on a variety of factors including the type of Medicare plan you have and where you choose to purchase your CGM. Talk with your healthcare provider and Medicare representative to find out what if any out-of-pocket costs you may incur. 

Mantachie Rural Health Care is thrilled about new access to coverage for this groundbreaking and life-changing technology. If you are a patient with diabetes and would like to learn more about getting coverage for a CGM, contact us today to schedule a time to talk with your provider. 

FDA Approves Generic Swap for Brand Name Insulin

Good news came at the end of July 2021 for diabetic patients who are struggling to afford insulin. On July 28, 2021, FDA regulators took action to make a cheaper, near-duplicate of brand-name insulin more accessible. 

This approval could save diabetic patients and health plans millions each year. It could also encourage drug companies to create more biosimilar meds. Biosimilar is the term used for medicines that are near-duplicates of a brand-name drug. Diabetic patients who want to swap to the generic form of insulin must ask their provider to either specifically prescribe the biosimilar or okay a substitution for the brand-name insulin.

FDA approval for the new generic insulin came after the administration agreed that Viatris’ Semglee is interchangeable with Lantus, a fast-acting brand-name insulin. The generic Semglee was launched in the summer of 2020 after Mylan, N.V. merged with another company to form Viatris in December 2019. 

Why Generic Insulin Hasn’t Been Widely Available in the US

Research from health data company, IQVIA, projects that US savings from increasing the use of biosimilars will top $100 billion by 2024. So why aren’t more generic biosimilars already available in the US? Red tape, lengthy patents, and pushback from brand-name drug companies are mostly to blame for the limited sales of biosimilars. 

Despite delays, 29 biosimilars have been approved by the FDA including biosimilars for brand-name cancer and immune disorder drugs. Only 20 of those 29 are actually sold here at this time. 

What You Can Do to Help Increase Biosimilar Sales

As a patient, you have more power to enact change than you might think. If you are a diabetic patient using Lantus simply ask your prescriber to swap your medicine for the generic Semglee. The more patients who switch to the generic form, the more likely it is that other drug companies will begin offering more generic versions of costly brand-name meds.

The approval of Semglee as a swap for the brand-name insulin could change the lives of many diabetic patients who are not taking the proper amount of insulin they need each day in order to preserve their costly medicine. The cost of Semglee compared to the brand-name Lantus is less than half. Semglee will run around $150-$190 without insurance for a month’s supply while Lantus runs between $340-$520 a month. 

Are you a diabetic patient struggling to afford your insulin? Your Mantachie Rural Health Care provider can help by swapping your brand-name medicine for the new generic form. For more information or to request an appointment, click here.

Gastroparesis and Diabetes

Gastroparesis, or gastric emptying, is a serious medical condition affecting the digestive system. It is characterized by the delayed emptying of food contents in the stomach.  Gastroparesis and diabetes are often connected.

Gastroparesis occurs when the stomach nerves are damaged or stop working. The vagus nerve controls the movement of food through the digestive tract. Diabetes can damage this nerve if blood glucose levels remain too high for a long period of time. 

Symptoms of gastroparesis include:

  • Heartburn
  • Nausea and vomiting undigested food
  • Feeling full when you haven’t eaten much
  • Weight loss
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Erratic blood glucose levels
  • Poor appetite
  • Gastroesophageal reflux
  • Stomach wall spasms

Gastroparesis symptoms may be mild or severe depending on the patient.

Complications from gastroparesis can be severe and even dangerous. Bacterial overgrowth can occur from the fermentation of food leftover in the stomach. Hardened, solid masses of food known as bezoars can also develop and cause nausea, vomiting, and obstructions in the digestive system. Bezoars become dangerous when they block food from passing through the small intestine.

When food finally passes into the small intestine, blood glucose levels rise. Erratic blood glucose levels caused by gastroparesis can make diabetes worse. 

What You Can Do to Treat Gastroparesis

Gastroparesis is a chronic illness that cannot be cured. In most cases, however, it can be controlled through proper treatment. The primary goal for treating diabetes-related gastroparesis is to regain control of blood glucose levels. Treatments for gastroparesis include insulin, oral meds, and changes in diet. Severe cases may require a feeding tube and intravenous feeding.

Diabetics with gastroparesis may need to take insulin more often to help control blood glucose levels. Your provider may advise you to take insulin before you eat a meal instead of after. You may also need to check your insulin levels more often. 

Are you concerned about gastroparesis symptoms? It’s time to talk with your Mantachie Rural Healthcare provider about your concerns and find out what’s next. Click here to request a visit now. 

How Diabetes Affects Your Vision Health

Diabetes is a disease of the endocrine system but it can affect just about every other organ and organ system in your body including your eyes. Diabetes can lead to several eye conditions and it is the primary cause of blindness in people with diabetes between the ages of 20 and 74. In today’s article, we’ll take a look at how diabetes affects your vision health and what you can do to lower your risk of developing one of these conditions. 

Why Diabetes Affects Your Vision Health

Diabetes is a metabolic condition affecting the way your body produces insulin. It can lead to hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar, and hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. Hyperglycemia can lead to a number of vision health problems while hypoglycemia can result in temporary blurry vision. 

Four Eye Conditions Caused by Diabetes

Each of these conditions can affect people with and without diabetes. However, people with diabetes are at a higher risk for these vision problems. 

  • Blurry vision. Hypoglycemia is just one of the ways diabetes can lead to blurry vision. Some patients experience blurry vision when they begin insulin treatment. Long-term blurry vision may be caused by diabetic retinopathy, a group of vision conditions caused by diabetes. 
  • Cataracts. The natural internal lens in the eye works like a camera, allowing your eyes to take images of the world around you. If the lens becomes cloudy, a cataract has formed. In addition to cloudy, blurry vision, older people with diabetes may also experience near-sightedness due to cataracts. 
  • Glaucoma. Your eye needs fluid to function properly. When the eyes don’t get enough fluid, pressure builds up. This condition is known as glaucoma. Glaucoma can damage the nerves and blood vessels leading to changes in vision. The most common form of glaucoma, open-angle glaucoma, can be treated with medication. Open-angle glaucoma may not produce any symptoms until it is further along. Less common glaucoma forms may lead to headaches, blurred vision, eye pain, halos around lights, watery eyes, and even vision loss. 
  • Diabetic retinopathy. High blood sugar caused by diabetes can damage the blood vessels in the eye’s retina. This condition is known as diabetic retinopathy. If left untreated, it can lead to blindness. Other types of retinopathy include:
    • Background retinopathy. This is a “milder” form of diabetic retinopathy in which the blood vessels are damaged but your vision is still okay. 
    • Maculopathy. The macula is the part of the retina that helps you see clearly for reading, driving, and other activities. Diabetes can damage this part of the retina resulting in maculopathy. Swelling from this condition can lead to serious eye problems if left untreated. 
    • Proliferative retinopathy. When the cells at the back of the eye don’t receive enough oxygen, new blood vessels may form. These blood vessels are very fragile and can easily develop blood clots which can cause scarring and pull the retina away from the back of the eye. A detached retina can lead to irreversible vision loss. Some cases of proliferative retinopathy can be treated if caught early.

How You Can Protect Your Vision Health

The best way to protect your eye health is to keep your blood sugar levels in check as often as possible. If you are having trouble with hyperglycemia, it’s time to re-visit your diabetes health provider to discuss changes in insulin treatment. You should also visit your eye doctor regularly for an eye exam and to discuss your diabetes and changes in your vision. 

Another way to protect your vision and other areas of your health affected by diabetes is to educate yourself about your condition. Our website is a great source for diabetes education and we offer a diabetes education class each month at Mantachie Rural Healthcare. To learn more about our diabetes education program or how we can help you manage your diabetes, call 662-282-4226. 

Minority Health and Diabetes

minorities and type 2 Diabetes

Two 2018 reports from the Office of Minority Health outlined the higher rates of type 2 diabetes among minorities than non-Hispanic white Americans. Specifically, non-Hispanic African-Americans were 60 percent more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes than non-Hispanic white Americans. Non-Hispanic black Americans were also twice as likely to die from diabetes as non-Hispanic Caucasian Americans. In the same year, Hispanics in the U.S. were 70 percent more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes than white Americans and they were also 1.3 times as likely to die from the same disease as non-Hispanic whites. 

Why are minorities in America more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than white Americans? 

Social disparities among minorities are the most common culprits. The inability to afford or access healthy foods as well as poor access to healthcare providers and gyms are just a few reasons why minorities struggle to maintain their health. These struggles are especially evident in rural areas where public transportation and access to local medical providers are few and far between. 

What is the healthcare community doing to help minorities have better health?

The CDC has implemented several programs to address social health disparities among minorities. They have partnered with private and public organizations to develop the National Diabetes Prevention Program. However, enrollment among minorities into this program has been low so the CDC has also funded 10 national organizations to start new in-person and online programs in underserved areas. Participants of the program work with a trained lifestyle coach to learn how to eat healthily, exercise properly, and make good lifestyle choices.  

While national organizations like the CDC are doing what they can to bring better health to minorities across the US, Mantachie Rural Healthcare is doing our part to provide diabetes care and education to all people groups in our rural community, including minorities. We offer an income-based sliding scale for healthcare, free monthly diabetes education courses, and access to a dietitian and other health professionals to help our patients learn how to become healthy. To schedule your first visit with us, dial 662-282-4226 or click here to request an appointment. 

Delicious Foods to Protect Your Health Over 50

Aging isn’t for the faint of heart. Between sagging skin and higher risks of chronic health conditions, our bodies are fighting more than time once we click past the half-century mark. But you still have a lot of life to live and adventures to take, so buckle up for a drive through some delicious food territory that will tickle your taste buds and keep your mind and body active for decades to come.

Fish

Let’s start with something versatile and delicious: fish! Particularly fatty fish like salmon, albacore tuna, herring and farmed trout. Try to eat fish at least twice a week. These main dishes are filled with DHA, which is good for your brain. If you aren’t a fish fan, other great sources of DHA include walnuts, flaxseed, and chia seed. 

Protein

Keeping on the theme of main dishes, protein helps you fight muscle and bone loss, but don’t rely on processed meats or too many protein powders. Eggs, beans, peas, nuts, seeds, and poultry provide your body with superior nutrition without the extra salt and additives that could increase your risk of heart disease and cancer. Varying your protein options keeps you from getting bored with your food choices and reduces the chances you’ll slip back those processed easy foods.

Calcium

Sure milk and cheese are yummy ways to reach your goal of 1200 milligrams of calcium per day, but why limit yourself? Yogurt, rice, soy drinks, fortified orange juice, tofu, and broccoli can help you reach your goal too. Did you know cooked broccoli releases even more health benefits for your body? Roast some in the oven, cook it in a sauce, or throw it on the grill for a different take on this green veggie.

Fruit

What goes better with yogurt, cubed cheese, or a smoothie than your favorite fruits. Every fruit offers unique benefits to your health. Red fruits like watermelon and strawberries are rich in lycopene which could lower your risk of cancer and may protect you against strokes. Blueberries hit everyone’s “must eat” list because they are rich in vitamins A and C as well as antioxidants like anthocyanin and compounds that lower inflammation. Citrus fruits have anti-inflammatory properties and may help protect you against some cancers. You’ll receive the most benefit from eating all these fruits fresh instead of cooked into pastries.

Cabbage and Cruciferous Vegetables

Our immune health has taken a front seat in recent months, and nothing could be better for bolstering your immune system than foods in the cabbage family. Don’t like cabbage itself? No problem. This family includes a wide variety of vegetables such as kale, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and radishes as well as maybe less known choices such as arugula, bok choy, horseradish, rutabaga, turnips, watercress, and wasabi. Many of these also fall into the “dark leafy green” category which means they do double duty to protect your eyes, memory, and thinking. Look for creative ways to cook any of these vegetables including roasting them, eating them in salads, or mixing them into other dishes.

Fiber and Whole Grains

So far we’ve built a pretty tasty plate with fish, fruit, cheese, and some roasted veggies, but you still need to add fiber and whole grains to your diet. Many of the foods we’ve already mentioned include much of the fiber you need, but as you age you need more fiber than before. Men over 50 should aim for 30 grams of fiber a day, and women should aim for 21 grams. Fiber not only helps keep your digestive system regular, but it lowers cholesterol, helps manage your blood sugar, and keeps your weight healthy. Whole grains provide another great source of fiber plus they add B-6 and folate to keep your brain healthy. You’re not limited to whole wheat bread, though. Quinoa, wheat berries, and whole-wheat couscous can add variety to your diet.

Spice It Up

Spices not only add delicious flavor to your foods, but they provide benefits all on their own. As you age, your sense of taste and smell change. You’re more likely to lose sensitivity to salty and bitter foods first, which may drive you to oversalt foods or lean toward sweets instead. You can up the flavor of your foods with non-salt spices such as turmeric, cinnamon, rosemary, and garlic. 

Water

As you age, you won’t notice your thirst as often as you once did. This leads senior adults to be more vulnerable to dehydration. Aim to drink eight 8-ounce cups of water a day. Add fruit juice, tea, soup, and those fruits and vegetables with high water content to help you reach your goal if needed. 

Finding the right mix of nutritious, yummy foods to meet your unique dietary needs can be a challenge, especially if you have high blood pressure or diabetes. We have a registered dietcian, Erica Witcher, on our staff. When you meet with our doctor or nurse practitioners, her services are included with your visit at no additional charge. Request your appointment with both our nurse practitioner and dietitian by calling (662) 282-4226.

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. 

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.


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