Prescription charges in Canada and social benefits
Is it true that someone with diabetes should not use an electric blanket?
It is perfectly safe for you to use an electric blanket, although most underblankets should be used only to warm up the bed in advance. The manufacturers usually recommend that underblankets should be switched off before you get into bed. However, there are now underblankets that can be left on all night on a very low heat and these would be safe to use, provided that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Overblankets can be left on all night, but again you should always check the manufacturer’s instructions.
Hot-water bottles are rather more dangerous as their temperature is not controlled. People with a slight degree of nerve damage can fail to realise that a bottle full of very hot water may be burning the skin of their feet. This is a recognised cause of foot ulcers. It is better to be safe than sorry and avoid the comfort of a hot-water bottle. Bedsocks are a possible alternative for cold feet, or you could try one of the small electric heating pads now on the market. Again you need to be careful how you use these and follow the manufacturer’s instructions – not all of them are suitable for use in bed.
I have diabetes and would dearly love to have my ears pierced but, when I asked my doctor about this, he said there was a chance that my ears would swell. Please could you advise me if there is a great risk of this happening?
Anyone who has their ears pierced runs a small risk of infection until the wound heals completely. The risk in a person with well controlled diabetes is no higher than normal. If your ears do become red, swollen and painful, you may need an antibiotic.
Is there any connection between vertigo and diabetes? I have had diabetes for just over two years controlled on diet alone.
Vertigo, in the strict medical sense, describes the sensation when the world seems to be spinning round. It is usually due to disease of the inner ear or of the part of the brain that controls balance. This is not connected with diabetes in any way. However, simple dizzy spells are a common problem with many possible causes, which may be difficult to diagnose. If dizziness occurs when you move from sitting down to standing, it may be the result of a sudden fall in blood pressure. This can sometimes be due to a loss of reflexes as a result of diabetic neuropathy. There are no other connections between diabetes and vertigo.