November is not only Diabetes Awareness Month, but it’s also the month that we remember to be thankful for all the things we have. For some of us that means being thankful for our health, but for others it means being thankful that we can keep control of our diabetes. Making sure to engage in good habits on a daily basis can make all the difference between staying healthy and making a bad situation worse.

If you have diabetes, it’s crucial to stay on top of your disease. You can live a normal and healthy life if you practice these healthy habits. One of the most important things you can do for yourself is to not use tobacco products of any kind. This increases your chances of heart attack or stroke even more. It’s also important to eat healthy foods and keep your blood sugar levels in a safe range. You already know to not overdo it on the processed sugars, but keeping your carbohydrate intake low is also important. Eat healthy and nutritious foods and consume everything else in moderation. Also, limit the amount of alcohol you drink. Since it’s important to maintain a healthy weight you should be engaging in light to moderate exercise every day, such as swimming or taking daily walks.

While all of these things are important you can’t forget about one of the most vital parts of diabetic care: taking care of your feet. Diabetes can cause a lot of complications for your feet, including peripheral neuropathy. This is when your nerves become damaged resulting in the inability to feel sensation in your outer limbs. Of course the potential dangers are that you might become injured without knowing it. This can lead to an open sore turning into an ulcer, which can ultimately lead to having your foot or leg amputated. To prevent this from happening, it’s absolutely necessary to check your feet every day for any problems that need addressed. Additionally, remember to protect your feet from harm. This means wearing foot coverings at all times (even at home), grooming your nails properly to prevent ingrown nails, and keeping your feet clean and dry to ward off fungal infections.

If you have more questions about how to practice healthy habits, call Dr. Mitchell Wachtel at (978) 794-8406 to schedule an appointment in our North Andover, Lowell, or Haverhill offices.