Perry County Memorial Hospital | Health Scene | Spring 2018

TYPE 2 DIABETES is a serious disease that affects the whole body, from cells and major organs to limbs, nerves and skin. By the time it’s diagnosed, damage may already be underway, even if you don’t feel it. Thankfully, there are many things you can do to help prevent or slow serious diabetes complications. Taking medicine as prescribed is one. Making lifestyle changes is another. A third: keeping your blood sugar under control. If you carefully test your glucose levels as directed by a doctor or nurse, you can track how well your diabetes action plan is working. Here is a head-to-toe look at how diabetes affects the body, along with more tips for com- bating complications. Source: American Diabetes Association HEAD Diabetes can block blood ves- sels to part of the brain, which is the main cause of strokes. What you can do: Ask your doctor if you’re at risk for a stroke. You may have to change your diet, exercise, quit smoking (if you smoke), keep blood pressure under control and take medi- cations to lower your risk. HEARING Researchers believe that blood vessels in the inner ear may be damaged by high blood sugar, affect- ing hearing. Hearing loss is twice as common in people with diabetes as in people with normal blood sugar. What you can do: Keep on top of blood sugar numbers. Ask your doctor about getting a hearing test if you think you have a hearing problem. If your hearing is already damaged, hearing aids may help. SKIN Changes in small blood vessels and infection-fighting mechanisms can lead to rough or dark patches on the skin, infections, and itchy skin. What you can do: Good diabetes con- trol is essential. See a doctor quickly if sores or skin problems develop. D I D Y O U K N O W ? >> 1 IN 3 The projected number of American adults who will have diabetes by 2050 if current trends for the disease continue. >> 30 MILLION The approximate number of chil- dren and adults in the U.S. who have diabetes. D I A B E T E S A head -to- toe guide t 4 Life & HEALTH