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Your Diabetic Checkup

Did you know that in the United States there are 20.8 million children and adults living with diabetes? This number is shocking. Some diabetics are aware of the importance of diet properly managing their diabetes, and others are not. This is a sad thing because people are unaware of the importance of adherence to openness to life-changing complications. Proper management of your body is another important factor in diabetes management. Not caring for your body can put you at greater risk for serious complications. An annual diabetes check is a must in preventing the common complications of the diabetes community, a problem that may lead to loss of vision or limbs. There are four exams that are important in diagnosing potential problems for diabetes patients: dentistry, eyes, feet, and physical examination. This article will discuss when you need to have each exam and the importance of doing so.

Dental Exam (Every six months)

Diabetics are more prone to dental problems due to poor blood sugar management, which damages white blood cells (the body's main defense against bacterial infections).

Many diabetics are at risk for periodontal disease (gums). In fact, periodontal disease is more common in diabetics. Other dental problems include dry mouth (decreased salivary flow), thrush (fungal infections), especially seen in diabetics who regularly take antibiotics, burn mouth syndrome (mainly due to thrush), candidiasis and gingival inflammation. These are just a few reasons why a six-month dental test is so important.

Smoking diabetics make themselves at greater risk for infection and periodontal disease. It is very important for people living with diabetes to maintain good oral hygiene. Also be aware of any changes and report them to your doctor immediately.

Eye Exam (Once a year)

Problems that may arise from diabetes include cataracts (this is contagious lenses), glaucoma (increased fluid pressure in the eyes leading to optic nerve damage and loss of vision), and diabetic retinopathy (the most common form of diabetes) .

It has been noted by the American Diabetes Association that diabetic retinopathy causes 12,000 to 24,000 new cases of blindness each year, making diabetes the leading cause of new cases in adults aged 20 -74. This makes it important that you have your eyes checked. Even if you have no problems with your vision, a folded eye test should be done at least once a year.

Foot Test (Once a year)

Neuropathy is a common and serious complication of diabetes. Neuropathy causes loss of feeling in the foot. Therefore, diabetes patients should not walk barefoot or try to trim their own toenails. A podiatrist should always be looking for this. Special care should be given to the feet. They should be kept clean and moisturized to prevent cracking of the skin. Also checking your feet daily would be a good idea.

Because of the slow healing process (usually diabetic) it can sometimes be prescribed if the foot becomes injured due to injury or other injury such as a leg injury. Slow healing can eventually lead to amputation. The rate of amputation for people living with diabetes is ten times higher than for people without diabetes. So the annual foot exam is a must.

Physical Exam (Once a year)

Other complications affecting diabetes include hypertension, heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease. Preventive measures can be addressed properly during the annual physical.

At closing, diabetes compliance is the first key to proper management. This includes diet, seeing your doctor for the above exam, and exercising. These are all key components in your life for the better. Not always your test date can lead to complications that can change your life forever.

References

1. complications of diabetes in the United States. American Diabetes Association. Available from. (http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-statistics/complications.jsp)



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