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Preventive care for people with diabetes

Published On: Jun 05 2012 03:22:10 PM CDT
Updated On: Nov 23 2012 01:00:00 AM CST
Diabetes medicine, syringe, blood glucose monitor

iStock/richcano

(NewsUSA) - Preventive care is a critical component of limiting lifetime complications for persons with diabetes. According to the Society for Vascular Surgery, when complications develop, aggressive management of contributing factors to atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) is also very important to managing the disease and preventing stroke, heart attack and leg amputations.

Careful maintenance of the blood glucose level is important to treat diabetes aggressively. This is accomplished by frequent glucose checks and appropriate insulin injections. Insulin pumps for selected patients may further expedite close blood glucose control. Watching the dietary intake of sugar also allows for closer regulation of blood glucose. Commitment to an approved diabetic diet can be the best investment a person with diabetes can make.

People with diabetes, both type I and type II, should discuss the condition of their arteries and blood vessels with their doctor. Atherosclerosis is a known side-effect of long-term diabetes that, in the worse-case scenarios, may lead to blockages in the diabetic's heart, brain or leg arteries. This risk is reduced significantly if diabetics are able to quit smoking, lower their cholesterol, take anti-platelet medications and pursue a heart-healthy diet and exercise program.

Many recent studies show that aggressive management of blood glucose immediately following heart or vascular surgery improves outcomes in patients with diabetes. This management frequently includes a carefully monitored intravenous continuous infusion of insulin even if the patient does not typically require insulin to manage their diabetes. This treatment can lower the chances of infections and other adverse events for the diabetic patient in the month following surgery.

If you have diabetes, see a vascular surgeon to care for your arteries and blood vessels. Today's vascular surgeons are the only specialists who are skilled in all vascular therapies. They are comprehensively trained in medical, endovascular (minimally invasive) and surgical therapies. Vascular surgeons are the experts who provide the best diagnosis and treatment for vascular conditions.

To learn more about your vascular health and to find a vascular surgeon, visit the Society for Vascular Surgery's Web site at www.VascularWeb.org.