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Diabetes and Feet Health
Metro Foot Care Centers
. http://www.marylandfootdoctor.com

Diabetes and Feet Health

Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disease that affects over 16 million people in this country. Individuals with diabetes are prone to many complications, the most common one being foot problems, including infections, which if left untreated could lead to potentially serious consequences, including amputation. A diabetic may also develop kidney, eye, heart, teeth, and circulation problems along with nerve damage. Fortunately, a diabetic who is under control and lives a healthy lifestyle has a far less chance of developing any of these complications.
Diabetic Statistics
It is the third leading cause of death in the United States.
Over 80% of the 87,000 amputations performed each year are due to diabetes.
60-70% of diabetics will develop neuropathy in the extremities.
It is the leading cause of new blindness.
A diabetic has 25 times more chance of developing blindness.
A diabetic has 17 times more chance of developing gangrene of the lower extremity.
15% of all health care dollars in the United States goes toward treatment of diabetes and its complications (98 billion dollars in 1997).
Diabetics In African Americans
African Americans are almost twice as likely to have diabetes as non-Hispanic whites.
1/3 of African Americans with diabetes do not know they have it.
25% of African Americans between 65 and 74 have diabetes and 25% of African American women over 55 also have it.
Diabetes is the fourth leading cause of death for African American women.
What Causes Diabetes?
Most of the food you eat is converted into sugar and normally, the body produces and uses insulin to move the blood sugar out of the blood and into other cells where it is used for energy. However, when a person has diabetes the body either doesnt produce enough insulin or it is unable to properly use the insulin it does produce. The sugar than builds up in the blood and can starve your bodys cells for energy. Over time this may cause great damage to your organs.
Types Of Diabetes
Type I 10% of all diabetics. The insulin-producing organ (pancreas) does not produce insulin. These diabetics must inject insulin every day.
Type II This occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or the body does not use the insulin in the correct way to move the sugar out of the blood into the other cells.
Gestational Diabetes Occurs during pregnancy.
Abnormal Glucose Tolerance or Elevated Fasting Glucose When blood sugar levels are higher than normal, this can be a major risk factor for Type II.
Diabetes secondary to medication ex. Prednisone, Cortisone.
Risk Factors
Family history
Pancreatic disease
Immune system disease
Obesity or overweight
Lack of Exercise
Pregnancy
Heritage (African American, American Indian, Hispanic, Asian)
Diabetic Risk Test
I am always thirsty.
I have to urinate frequently.
I am always tired.
I have unexplained weight loss.
I occasionally have blurry vision.
I am over 30 years old.
I am overweight.
I am African American, Hispanic, American Indian, or Asian.
I have a baby weighing more than 9 lbs. at birth.
I have a parent, brother or sister that has diabetes.
Managing Your Diabetes
Diabetes support team health care providers, family and friends, dietician
Keeping track of your blood sugar 2-4 times a day
Medication diabetes pills or insulin
Eating healthy low fat, moderate amounts of protein, beans, vegetables, and whole grain breads and cereals
Exercise always consult your physician prior to starting an exercise
program
Weight loss exercise and healthy eating will help control blood sugar
Regular check-ups with diabetic support team
Stop smoking
Diabetic Complications
Diabetes is a serious disease. If left unmanaged, diabetes can cause damage to many parts of your body.
Eyes Diabetic eye disease (retinopathy) can cause you to lose your eyesight. You should have regular eye exams.
Kidney Diabetic kidney disease (nephropathy) may cause you to have your blood filtered through a machine several times a week. This is called kidney dialysis. Sometimes, people with diabetes need to have a kidney transplant.
Heart and blood vessels This is the main reason people with diabetes get sick. These problems can lead to high blood pressure, heart attacks, and strokes. It can also lead to poor blood flow to the legs and feet (poor circulation). Risk factors include smoking or elevated cholesterol.
Nerve damage (neuropathy) Great advances have been made in the last several years for treating neuropathies. Non-invasive nerve testing can now be performed to diagnose the etiology of neuropathies. Some of the symptoms include pain, burning, tingling, loss of feeling in your hands and feet, abnormal sweating, light headedness, problems swallowing, bowel problems, and impotence.
Dental disease Diabetics are more likely to have problems with their teeth and gums. Some signs are sore, swollen, red or bleeding gums. Brush twice and day and floss each day.

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