How To Take Care of Yourself

FEET Watch out for:

  • Pain or numbness
  • Swelling or redness
  • A change in the size or shape of your foot or ankle
  • Sores that do not heal
  • Ingrown toenails
  • Corns or calluses with a skin color change

What can I do to prevent problems?

  • Check your feet every day. Use a mirror to see the bottom of your feet.
  • Tell your doctor if you see new blisters, sores, cracks, cuts or anything unusual.
  • Have a foot exam each time you see the doctor.
  • Wash your feet with soap and warm water everyday. Dry them well.
  • Do not go barefoot.
  • Wear thick, soft socks.
  • Wear shoes that fit right.
  • Break shoes in slowly.
  • When you put your shoes on, make sure they do not have any pebbles or sharp objects in them.
  • Get blood sugar levels under control.
  • If you smoke, stop.

EYES Watch for:

  • Blurry or changing vision
  • Floating spots in your eyes
  • Straight lines that look crooked
  • Flashes of light in your eyes
  • Loss of vision

What can I do to prevent problems?

  • Call your doctor right away if you have any change in vision.
  • Get an eye exam at least once a year.
  • Get blood sugar levels under control.
  • Get blood pressure under control.

KIDNEYS Watch for:

  • High blood pressure
  • Protein in urine (ask the doctor to do this)

What can I do to prevent problems?

  • Lower blood fat levels.
  • Lower blood pressure.
  • Have a yearly test to see if you have kidney problems.
  • If you have a bladder infection, get it treated right away.
  • Get your blood sugar levels under control.
  • If you smoke, stop.

NERVES Watch for:

  • Numbness or pain in hands and feet
  • Feeling light headed when you stand up
  • Problems with sex
  • Sweating more
  • Sores that do not heal quickly
  • Feeling sick to your stomach
  • Constipation and/or diarrhea
  • Problems urinating

What can I do to prevent problems?

  • Tell your doctor about problems and get tested for nerve damage.
  • Take any medicine your doctor orders.
  • Get blood sugar levels under control.
  • Check feet each day for any changes.
  • If you smoke, stop.

BLOOD VESSELS Watch for:

  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Fast heart beats or skipped beats
  • Sudden loss of sight
  • Slurred speech
  • Weakness in arm or leg
  • Pain in legs while walking

What can I do to prevent problems?

  • Tell your doctor of any of these problems.
  • Eat a healthy diet.
  • Exercise.
  • If you smoke, stop.
  • Lower your blood pressure.
  • Lower your blood fats.
  • Get blood sugar levels under control.

TEETH Watch for:

  • Pain or bleeding
  • Sore, swollen or red gums

What can I do to prevent problems?

  • Brush and floss your teeth every day.
  • See a dentist at least twice a year.

SKIN Watch for:

  • Red or itchy rashes
  • Red, swollen or painful skin
  • Very dry or cracked skin

What can I do to prevent problems?

  • See your doctor about any skin problems.
  • Keep skin dry.
  • Use mild creams on dry skin.
  • Take care of cuts or burns right away.
  • Drink lots of water.
  • Get blood sugar levels under control.