Diabetes Part One: A Very Dangerous Balancing Act
The facts are frightening. 25.8 million American adults and children suffer from diabetes. Here are just a few more interesting facts involving diabetes.
- 60 to 70 percent of people with diabetes suffer mild to severe nerve damage
- In 2006, 65,700 lower limb amputations were performed on people with diabetes
- Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness reported in adults 20-74 years of age
- Diabetes contributed to 231,404 deaths in 2007
If these facts aren’t enough to scare you, log onto http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/diabetes-statistics/ to read more startling information. Diabetes is a killer and there is no denying it. It is very important to seek treatment for this disease and the earlier, the better.
Early warning signs to look for include:
- Frequent urination
- Extreme hunger
- Unexplained weight loss
- Burning, numbness and tingling in the hands and feet
- Blurred vision
Failure to heed these warning signs can allow diabetes to take control of your life. Dietary prevention is one of the best ways to control your blood sugar and keep the stress off your pancreas and kidneys. If you are unable to control your blood sugar levels and symptoms worsen, you may do damage to your nervous system. This is called neuropathy. Neuropathy usually manifests itself first in the feet and hands and involves loss of sensation. If loss of sensation occurs, you are at much greater risk of injury and infection. Infections become harder to heal because of reduced circulation and then you then run the risk of possible amputation.
If you have diabetes, you must see your doctor at least annually. Never see a doctor without including a foot examination. Drs. Brook and Northcutt at Dallas Podiatry Works are able to evaluate your feet and provide you with great health care and recommendations. If you have a health care assistant who helps you, make sure they are aware of your risk.
Here are a few at home tips for safeguarding your feet:
- Wear shoes to prevent injury
- Make sure to bathe your feet daily and examine them for wounds or injury
- Use a good emollient lotion to prevent drying and cracking skin
- Do not apply lotion between toes
- Trim toenails straight across. Ask for help if you are unable.
Control your blood sugar by controlling your diet. If you are unable to control your blood sugar by dietary means, make sure you take your medication. See podiatrists Dr. Brook and Dr. Northcutt regularly and call (972) 566-7474 to set up an appointment.
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