Diabetes Support Groups to Keep the Nervous System Healthy

Diabetes support groups are all over the place. Among other things, they are for keeping the nervous system healthy. We know that too much sugar in the blood can damage many parts of the body. We have dealt with the heart and kidney complication. Now we'll see what we can do about the nervous system most specifically this time, the legs, fingers and feet.

As to what one should do every day to stay healthy with diabetes, the same basic things covered in the kidney part of presentation hold true here. The diabetes support groups are all for this, too. But there are special things to do to prevent the diabetes from damaging the nervous system. Here they are:

1. Quit smoking.

2. Monitor your blood glucose level, keeping it as close to normal as possible.

3. Restrict the quantity of alcohol-intake.

4. Take good care of your feet. There will be more on this down below.

5. The diabetes support groups will say to consult with your health care team when you:

  • can't determine when your blood sugar is too low
  • feel woozy when you change position from sitting to standing, etc.
  • have problems with sex

6. Also consult with your health care team if you have trouble with:

  • the bowels, stomach, and bladder
  • hands, feet, arms and legs

You see, sugar can connect to the nerves and arteries that bring in what the fingers and feet need. According to the diabetes support groups, these are the things that could happen when diabetes damages the nerves.

  • Burning ache in feet or hands
  • Pins and needles feelings in the extremities
  • No feelings in the extremities

The blood flow to the above areas may become limited due to the damage caused by diabetes. This is the foremost cause of amputation among the diabetes. So promise me you will pay attention to the circulation in the lower legs and check them every day especially between the toes. When you do this, the diabetes support groups will be happy as well. Here are daily foot care hints to prevent serious problems:

1. Examine your feet daily for cuts, sores, blisters, red spots, swelling and infected toenails. Make this a part of your every day routine. If you can't put your feet up, one at a time of course, or you can bend over, use a mirror or get someone to check them. Once you notice a problem, call the doctor immediately, so will the diabetes support groups will say.

2. Wash your feet every day with soap and warm water, not hot water. Check the water temperature with the thermometer or the elbow. Remember not to immerse your feet because the skin will get dry. Be sure to dry the feet well especially between the toes because athlete's foot likes to grow there. Thoroughly dry the feet paying special attention to the area between the toes.

3. Rub lotion on the bottom and top of the feet to keep the skin silky and smooth. The diabetes support groups will warn you not to rub lotion between the toes as this may result in infection.

4. Wear socks and shoes at all times to protect your feet from getting hurt. Socks, nylons, and stockings should be seamless to prevent blisters and sores. They should not be too tight below the knees. They should be made of materials that will absorb moisture. Wear well fitting shoes. It's a good idea to buy them at the end of the day when the feet are larger. Then break them in gently. Wear them for two hours a day for the first week or so. Check the insides of your shoes before putting them on to make sure no pebbles or foreign objects have found their way there.

5. Trim the nails once a week or more if needed preferably after washing and drying the feet because they're soft then. The diabetes support groups will advice to cut the toenails straight across and smooth them with emery board or pumice stone. You can also file the calluses and corns gently after washing and drying the feet.

6. Guard your feet against hot and cold. For protection, put sunscreen on top of your feet. Keep them away from open fires and radiators. Don't use hot water bottle or heating pads for your feet. In the winter, check your feet often to avoid frostbite. This is another advice from the diabetes support groups.

7. Needless to say, take care of your diabetes. Change to a healthier life style to keep your blood sugar normal.

8. Be physically active. Devise an exercise plan with the health care team. Remember to warm-up with slow walking before starting and to cool down at the end of the exercise.

9. Work at keeping the blood flowing to your feet. Here are easy things one can do:

  • When watching TV, put the feet up.
  • Two or three times a day, wriggle the toes.
  • Move the ankles in and out, up and down. This will improve the blood flow to the legs and feet.
  • Quit smoking for smoking decreases the blood flow to the feet.
  • Crossing legs for a long period of time will help stop the blood flow to the feet.
  • Wearing restrictive foot products can cut off the blood flow to the feet.
  • Don't wear tight socks or other clothing that will use elastic and garters around the legs.
  • Work with your health care provider to stabilize the blood pressure and cholesterol level

10. Once a year, get the doctor to examine the feeling and pulses and the feet.

The diabetes support groups conduct straight talks about diabetes and the feet. Diabetics should take special care of their feet because they can lead to foot complications. There are two main causes which we will discuss later. For now, try to find the diabetes support groups in your area. This toll-free number may be able to help you find one: 1-800-860-8747

If you want more information about diabetes, please visit: Blogging for Diabetes and You

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