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Preventing Long-Term Problems

Preventing Long-Term Problems

Long-Term Complications of Diabetes - VHL HealthSheet #82092_VA
Over time, high blood sugar levels can damage blood vessels. This can lead to health problems (complications). Keeping your blood sugar in your target ranges can help prevent or delay complications.
Diabetes: Caring for Your Body - VHL HealthSheet #82134_VA
When you have diabetes, your body needs special care. This care helps you stay healthy and prevent complications. Exercise and healthy eating are a part of this. You can also protect yourself by taking special care of your feet and skin.
Diabetes: Exams and Tests - VHL HealthSheet #86169_VA
For your diabetes care, you may see your primary care provider or a specialist 2–4 times a year. Here we list some of the regular exams and tests recommended for people with diabetes.
Diabetes: Keeping Feet Healthy - VHL HealthSheet #82128_VA
When you have diabetes, your feet need special care. Even a small foot problem can become very serious. Practice self-care to protect your feet and keep them healthy.
Diabetes: Inspecting Your Feet - VHL HealthSheet #82130_VA
Diabetes increases your chances of developing foot problems. So inspect your feet every day. This helps you find small skin irritations before they become serious infections.
Diabetes: Treating Minor Foot Infections - VHL HealthSheet #82108_VA
Diabetes makes it harder for the body to heal. Even minor problems, like a blister, can become infected. If not treated, infections can spread and damage nearby tissues. Prompt treatment by your doctor can help clear up infections and restore your health.
Diabetes: Treating Severe Foot Infections - VHL HealthSheet #82110_VA
In some cases, infections can spread through the feet and up the leg. To treat a severe infection, you may be hospitalized and given intravenous (IV) antibiotics. You may also be referred to healthcare providers who specialize in treating infections. If the infection is a serious risk to your health, surgery may be recommended.
Diabetes and Heart Disease - VHL HealthSheet #82064_VA
If you have diabetes, you are two to four times more likely to have heart disease than someone without diabetes. You can control your health risks by making some changes in your life.
Diabetes and Kidney Disease - VHL HealthSheet #83206_VA
Diabetes makes your body less able to use the foods you eat. As a result, glucose (the form of sugar the body uses as fuel) builds up in the blood. Over time, having too much glucose in your blood can damage blood vessels and kidneys. By controlling diabetes, you can maintain a healthy blood glucose level and slow any kidney damage.
Diabetes and Periodontal Disease: An Increased Risk - VHL HealthSheet #84680_VA
When you have diabetes, you are at greater risk for periodontal disease (infection of the gums and tissues supporting the teeth). Any periodontal disease you may develop can be more severe and harder to control. Preventing or controlling periodontal disease requires ongoing care.
Diabetes Related Eye Disease - VHL Video
People with diabetes may develop eye problems such as glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. In this video, you'll find out more about these problems and what you can do to prevent them. The best approach is good control of your blood sugar levels. You should also have a yearly eye exam.
Foot Care for People with Diabetes - VHL Video
Maintaining normal blood sugar levels helps to prevent diabetic foot problems: nerve damage, poor circulation, and infection. This video demonstrates how to do daily foot care that can impact the development of these complications.
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Did You Know?

Working with their support network and healthcare providers, people with diabetes can help reduce or prevent complications of the disease. If you have diabetes or are at risk for it, talk to your VA provider today.

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