People with diabetes are especially prone to problems with circulation and wound healing. Therefore, it is important that you follow the advice of your health care team regarding diet, treatment and medications. The following are some general tips to help you avoid complications that often plague diabetics.
Avoid tobacco in any form, including pipes, cigars, regular and low-tar cigarettes, chewing tobacco, and secondhand smoke. Nicotine in these products causes the blood vessels in your body to constrict, or narrow. This narrowing prevents the normal amount of blood from getting to your body parts. Smoking also decreases the amount of oxygen in your blood, and oxygen is needed for wound healing.
High Blood Pressure:
High blood pressure, or hypertension, makes the heart work harder. High blood pressure is often without symptoms, so have your blood pressure checked regularly. Take your medications as ordered by your doctor.
Adequate amounts of protein, vitamins and minerals are important in your diet to promote healing. It is also important to control the amount of cholesterol in your diet. Cholesterol is a fatty substance found in animal tissue. It may lead to problems with your arteries. Cholesterol is found in egg yolks, organ and red meats, shellfish, chocolate, and dairy products that contain fat. Your doctor may also suggest a low salt diet to help control high blood pressure or weight reduction if you are overweight. Speak to your doctor about a diet plan that will work with you.
You do not need to exercise vigorously. Mild exercise, such as walking, is usually safe and helpful to most people. Walking strengthens your muscles and helps improve blood flow. Mild exercise needs to be done on a regular basis to be effective. Increase the distance you walk gradually. If any pain develops, stop and rest. Consult your doctor about the exercise that is right for you. People with wounds may be advised to wear special shoes or to try and avoid walking until the wound is healed.