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Living with Diabetes: Reducing Risks

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Living with Diabetes: Reducing Risks

Taking preventive actions can help you in minimizing or preventing certain complications/negative outcomes from diabetes. Here are some steps you can take this fall and winter season.


Reducing risks is one of the American Association of Diabetes Educators’ (AADE) seven self-care behaviors for managing diabetes. Preventive actions now will benefit you years from now in decreasing complications from diabetes. Below are some steps you can take to reduce risks during the fall and winter:


Wash Your Hands

One of the most important things you can do is wash your hands often. Scrub with soap and warm water for 20 seconds (sing through “Happy Birthday” song twice), then rinse. Make sure you get below the fingernails as well


Get Your Flu Vaccine

Schedule a flu vaccine yearly. Ask your provider if you need a pneumonia vaccine as well.


Pay Attention to Your Feet

Diabetes can damage the nerves in your feet. As a result, you may not feel it if you accidentally get a scrape or a sore. Make sure you check your feet daily for redness, blisters, and cuts. An excellent way to remember is to check after your shower every day. If you see a wound, keep track of it and make sure you let your doctor know right away.


Don’t Sit Too Close to Heaters or Furnaces

If you have diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage) leading to a decrease or loss of sensation in your extremities, don’t sit too close to or put your feet and legs too close to heaters or furnaces. You may suffer burns without realizing it.


Brush and Floss Your Teeth Daily

You are at a greater risk for cavities and gum disease if you have diabetes. In addition to brushing and flossing your teeth daily, schedule regular cleanings with your dentist and ask if you need to see a periodontist to get your gums checked.


Schedule for Regular Checkups:


Type of Health Check




A1C (a blood test that measures your average blood glucose level during the past 3 months)


Every 3 to 6 months


Blood pressure


Every visit


Lipid Panel: 

Total Cholesterol

HDL (good cholesterol)

LDL (bad cholesterol)

Triglycerides (blood fats that come from food and are made by the body) 


At least every year


Eye checkup


Every year


Kidney Function  


Every year


Dental checkup


Every year – 2x/year


Foot checkup (nerve function and blood flow) 


At least every year

In observance of Memorial Day, most ACPNY offices will be operating on a holiday schedule. For your convenience, select offices will remain open. Learn more.