Diabetes is deemed among the menacing chronic ailments that affect a huge part of global population. It leads to a number of health complications if left untreated. Diabetics are not only vulnerable to diverse critical ailments affecting major body organs but they also have to cope with minor to moderate health issues. One of these is diabetes triggered skin problems. While dermatological problems can be caused by myriads of factors including lifestyle, dietary habits and exposure to chemicals etc, diabetics cope with plenty of skin problems. Medications can help them in dealing with those skin issues but the diet is where the modifications should be made.
Major skin problems faced by those living with diabetes
While not all diabetics exhibit similar skin problems, on an average, a third of them face numerous skin issues. The ADA thinks certain skin issues may indicate onset of diabetes in people who are yet to undergo the diagnosis. The good thing is most such skin problems triggered by diabetes can be treated or thwarted when they are detected early. Keeping blood sugar (glucose) level under control will make it easy to prevent any such skin problems and making modification to the diet is the key. The typical diabetes induced skin problems that can be controlled by apt dietary modification include:
- Skin rash
- blisters in legs, and thighs
- Bacterial infections
- Skin itching
- Fungal infections
The diabetes related skin issues take place because blood glucose level anomalies impact the blood vessels in the body. When your skin does not get supply of nutrients as desired through these vessels, various skin problems can crop up. External treatment of such skin issues is possible but better results are obtained when you eat nutrient rich foods. These help in stabilizing blood sugar levels and fighting inflammation. As a matter of fact, people with weaker immune system developing diabetes fare worse in this regard.
Ideal foods for diabetes victims with skin issues
It is a common perception that diabetics should eat low calorie foods with little or no sugar. While this is theoretically true, care should also be taken to ensure such foods help the victims in fighting diabetes induced skin issues.
Listed below are 4 nutritious foods that the diabetics can intake to stabilize blood sugar level and ward off skin problems:
Diabetes victims with skin issues will benefit from adding leafy green vegetables to their meal plans. Kale fits the bill very well. It is enriched with vitamin C. This is a proven powerful antioxidant that helps your body combat free radicals induced damages. Even having a cup/day will be enough. Consuming foods with Vitamin C is helpful for those living with diabetes. Studies have indicated people eating vitamin C rich foods fare well with dry skin related problems. Vitamin C also slows down skin ageing and so you will look younger!
Kale also contains generous amount of Vitamin A. It is a fat-soluble vitamin that charges up your immune system. A strong immune system helps your body ward off skin infections better. It also helps in healing of skin wounds.
Kale can be consumed in a number of ways. You can add it in making soups, veg curries and salads, for example. You can also add it in the blender with your favorite vegetables for making smoothies.
Eggs are deemed as a good source of animal protein and they can be good for diabetics with skin issues as well. Eggs contain amino acids that speed up wound healing. You also get a nutrient called biotin in the eggs and this vitamin helps in enhancing skin and nail health. A number of studies conducted on lab rodents have indicated biotin intake helps prevent insulin resistance.
Eggs usually do not lead to digestive issues and they can be cooked in so many ways. You can use them in salads, soups, noodles, curries etc. However, moderation is what you should stick to. Eating plenty of eggs on a daily basis may lead to weight gain and that is something diabetics should try to evade at all times.
A misconception about diabetes friendly food option is that you can’t have fat in diet if you have the dreaded ailment. The reality is you can have foods with some amount of healthy fat. Cutting down on foods with trans-fat is necessary but you can very well gorge on a can of sardines!
This tasty fish is replete with healthy fats and the benefits of eating it extend much beyond fighting diabetes induced skin problems. Sardine is a fish rich with omega-3 fatty acids and that is beneficial for cardiac health. Besides, healthy fats offer a glow to skin and enhance skin health. Eating healthy fat laden food can help in thwarting skin dryness. Studies have shown eating food with omega-3 fatty acids speeds up skin healing and their anti-inflammatory properties enhance immune response to wounds.
If you are fond of vegan or vegetarian foods and want a source of healthy fat to stave off diabetes triggered skin damage, there are options. Walnuts can fit your bill well. These nuts are imbued with omega-3 fatty acids. You need only ¼ cup of walnuts to fulfill your daily quota of omega-3s. When eaten in moderation, walnuts offer enough energy and help control blood sugar levels.
Eating walnuts also let you fight off hunger pangs. It keeps the stomach full for a long time. This in turn, helps prevent binge eating and thwarts sharp spikes in blood sugar levels. Walnuts have proven anti-inflammatory benefits and they contain a good amount of vitamin E. This vitamin is good for healing existing skin ailments- say the nutrition experts.
However, walnuts are somewhat calorie heavy and so you should not eat these nuts in large amounts. Doing so can lead to weight gain and that can be detrimental for diabetes. For effective diabetes management, you must maintain a healthy weigh and watch your BMI score.
These foods are helpful when you have diabetes and cope with several skin issues caused by the ailment. However, you need to check if you are allergic to these foods too.
What else you can do to cope with diabetes triggered skin woes?
Diabetes management begins with required moderation in diet and that also helps you keep the resultant skin complications at bay. However, eating skin healthy and blood sugar stabilizing foods may not be enough. Eating these foods will provide your skin cells the required nutrients to promote healing. However, you will also need to take care of these skin conditions externally.
To treat specific skin conditions caused by diabetes, you may need to visit a dermatologist. He/she may recommend using skin ointments, creams or gels in some cases. Besides, the diabetic patients need to take good care of their skin health. Keeping skin clean, using medicated soaps and sanitizers is helpful. It is also necessary to keep your skin well hydrated using body oil and creams. This is more of a prerequisite for those diabetics with dry skin types. Keeping the nails clean is also necessary in this regard. Fungal infections in the diabetic patients occur mostly in the feet and nails.