The landmark Diabetes Control & Complications Trial (DCCT) found that people with type 1 diabetes can reduce their risk of complications significantly by maintaining tight blood sugar control. Specifically, the researchers found that tight blood sugar control reduced the risks of eye disease by 76%, kidney disease by 50%, and nerve disease by 60%.
Other ways to cut your risk of diabetes-related complications:
• Treat your feet. Check your feet regularly for cuts, blisters, and abrasions; wear comfortable and protective shoes and socks; and visit your podiatrist at least once a year to prevent diabetic foot problems.
• Quit smoking. Smoking greatly increases your chance of cardiovascular complications, something people with diabetes are already at high risk for.
• Stay on schedule. Get all recommended check-ups and screenings on time, including an annual dilated eye exam and twice-a-year trips to your dentist.
• Exercise daily. Aside from keeping your blood glucose levels down and improving over health, daily exercise is a great stress reducer and mood booster. Try to get at least 30 minutes of physical activty on most days of the week.
• Mind your mental health. Stress and depression can have a negative impact on your blood glucose control. A diabetes support group may help you cope with some of these challenges. Talk to your diabetes care team about stress management techniques and treatment options for depression.
Reviewed by Janis Roszler, MSFT, RD, CDE, LD/N. 5/13