Perry County Memorial Hospital | Health Scene | Spring 2018

HEART Diabetes and high cholesterol often go hand-in- hand. As cholesterol builds up, blood vessels narrow, blood doesn’t flow well, and circulation to the heart and body is affected. This can cause chest pain and a heart attack. What you can do: Have a cholesterol test and know your numbers for total cholesterol, LDL (bad cholesterol), HDL (good cholesterol) and triglycerides (another type of blood fat). Work with your doctor to reach your goal levels. EYES Diabetes can damage small blood vessels that nour- ish the eyes, starting a chain reaction that can lead to retina injury, cataracts, glaucoma and vision loss. What you can do: Have a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once a year. TEETH High blood glucose levels can encourage bacteria to grow in the mouth, causing an infection of the gums and bones. Sometimes teeth fall out or need to be pulled. Dry mouth, which can cause cavities, is also common in people with diabetes. What you can do: Control your blood sugar, brush and floss regularly, get a dental checkup every six months, and don’t smoke. KIDNEYS High blood sugar overworks the kidneys, which causes these filters to wear out and leak. Waste products can build up in the body. If kidneys fail, a transplant or dialy- sis is the only solution. What you can do: Kidney problems can be prevented, stopped or slowed by maintaining careful blood sugar and blood pressure control, taking medicine, and making changes to your diet. Tests for kidney function help spot problems early, when they are most treatable. FEET Because of nerve damage caused by diabetes, feet may tingle; hurt; feel numb; or lose their ability to feel pain, hot or cold. Circulation is compromised, and small sores can grow into serious infections. Some people lose a foot or a leg. What you can do: Inspect your feet every day for cuts and sores. Keep your feet clean and dry, use a light cream to keep them soft, and wear well-fitting shoes. To avoid sores and infection, let your doctor deal with calluses and corns. Sources: American Diabetes Association; National Institutes of Health good health + WE CAN HELP! We can help you stay healthy with diabetes. Go to . Search our library for diabetes-friendly recipes and practical tips for managing the disease. PCHMO.ORG 5