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Here's What You Can Do to Prevent Complications of Type 1 Diabetes

Here's What You Can Do to Prevent Complications of Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes complications prevention is a very important aspect of managing diabetes. Because diabetes affects numerous major organs in the body, any serious complication in one organ can directly affect the other organs in the body. This can then lead to even more serious health problems, or organ failure if left untreated.

This is the reason people with type 1 diabetes need to take preventive steps in order to avoid these complications.

What Are the Complications of Type 1 Diabetes?

The complications of type 1 diabetes are varied and affect different systems of the body.

Here are some of the possible complications that could occur if prevention steps are not followed:

  • Heart attack and stroke
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Hypertension or high blood pressure
  • Blindness
  • Kidney failure
  • Amputation

type 1 diabetes complications prevention

Type 1 Diabetes Complications Prevention Steps

Here are some steps you can take to prevent type 1 diabetes complications.

1. Watch What You Eat

Type 1 diabetics lack insulin, which helps control their blood sugar levels. What this means is that type 1 diabetics need to be extra careful about what they eat in order to keep their blood sugar under control.

This means that sugars and carbohydrates should only be taken in small amounts. It’s also important for type 1 diabetics to check the ingredients of the food they eat, to make sure they are not inadvertently eating too much sugar.

Ideally, eating fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, and lean meat would be best for diabetics.

2. Stay Fit

Diabetics are more at risk for heart attacks as well as stroke. And one way to prevent this would be to stay fit.

Aside from eating the right kind of food, it’s also important for type 1 diabetics to eat the right amount of food. Too much food can cause high blood sugar levels, and eating too little might cause their blood sugar levels to drop. This is why portion control is very important.

Another important thing for diabetics to do would be to engage in exercise. Engaging in 30 minutes of exercise each day can help diabetics stay fit, and also keep their blood sugar levels under control.

Having an active lifestyle goes a long way when it comes to type 1 diabetes complications prevention.

3. Monitor Your Blood Sugar Levels

Another important thing for diabetics to do would be to monitor their blood sugar levels throughout the day.

Your doctor would usually tell you when to check your blood sugar levels, but here is a rough guide:

  • Right before you go to sleep
  • At nighttime
  • Before eating any meal or snack
  • Before and after exercise
  • Check it frequently if you are taking a new type of medication
  • If you feel sick or are unwell, you should also check your blood sugar more often
  • If you change your daily routine, it would be a good idea to check your blood sugar frequently

There are also blood sugar level monitoring devices available that can check blood sugar automatically. However, these tend to be not as accurate as getting a blood sample and using a glucometer.

Regardless, these devices are helpful especially for the elderly, because some have built-in alarms to let the person know they should take their insulin.

Ideally, type 1 diabetics check their blood sugar levels 4 to 10 times a day. This can help give them an idea if their current steps are effective, and can also help them know what type of insulin to take, and when they should take it.

type 1 diabetes complications prevention

4. Don’t Forget to Inject Insulin

For type 1 diabetics, insulin is a lifesaver. Since their bodies do not produce insulin, they depend on injecting insulin in their body to help process the sugar from the food that they eat.

Different types of insulin are available, and they vary according to how soon they take effect, and how long the effect lasts.

Those with diabetes need to take different types of insulin depending on their physical activity, their blood sugar levels, and their daily diet.

Some diabetics use an alarm to let them know if they should inject insulin. There are also devices that automatically check a person’s blood sugar levels, and administer a prescribed dosage of insulin to keep blood sugar levels in check.

5. Follow Your Doctor’s Orders

Another important thing is to listen to your doctor’s orders. If your doctor tells you to eat less of a certain type of food, or to exercise more, it would be a good idea to follow their advice.

If you are taking other types of medicine for your diabetes, it would also be a good idea to follow the medicine schedule, and stick to the dosage that your doctor gave you. This can help in managing your condition and prevent any possible complications.

6. Take Special Precautions

If you have diabetes it is important to take some special precautions. These include 1) having your eyes checked by an eyecare professional periodically and 2) practicing good foot care. These two precautions are often neglected and become a major cause of comorbidities among diabetics. This is because those with diabetes have an increased risk of vision loss or blindness. Diabetes may also cause nerve damage in the feet, increasing the risk of foot ulcers or even amputation.

7. Quit Smoking and Don’t Drink Alcohol

Smoking and drinking pose a high risk to diabetics. Drinking alcohol can increase a diabetic’s blood sugar levels without them even knowing it.

Smoking can increase a person’s risk for lung disease, as well as heart disease and other cardiovascular problems.

So if you are a drinker or a smoker, it would be a good idea to quit these habits as soon as possible. The sooner you quit, the healthier your body will be, and you can better manage your type 1 diabetes.

Learn more about type 1 diabetes here.

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Sources

Type 1 Diabetes | CDC, https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/type1.html, Accessed September 2, 2020

Type 1 diabetes – Symptoms and causes – Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/type-1-diabetes/symptoms-causes/syc-20353011, Accessed September 2, 2020

Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention of Type 1 Diabetes | CHLA, https://www.chla.org/blog/health-and-safety-tips/symptoms-treatment-and-prevention-type-1-diabetes, Accessed September 2, 2020

Preventing complications, https://www.diabetesaustralia.com.au/preventing-complications, Accessed September 2, 2020

Complications of diabetes | Guide to diabetes | Diabetes UK, https://www.diabetes.org.uk/guide-to-diabetes/complications, Accessed September 2, 2020

Complications of type 1 diabetes, https://jdrf.org.uk/information-support/about-type-1-diabetes/complications/, Accessed September 2, 2020

Blood sugar testing: Why, when and how – Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diabetes/in-depth/blood-sugar/art-20046628, Accessed September 2, 2020

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Written by Jan Alwyn Batara Updated 3 weeks ago
Fact Checked by Hello Doctor Medical Panel
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