It’s safe to say 2017 was quite the eventful year. From celebrity scandals to movements of the people, we were constantly ‘kept on our toes’. However, something very important happened last year that was, unfortunately, kept in the dark. According to the American Association of Diabetes Educators, there was a reported 30.3 million people living with diabetes at the end of 2017--that’s 9.4% of the US population!
Even more alarming, of those 30.3 million people, 23.1 million are actually diagnosed, while 7.2 (23.8%) remain undiagnosed. The AADE dove even deeper into this issue, positing that prediabetes numbers indicate that 84.1 million adults (33.9% of the adult U.S population) have prediabetes--with 23.1 million adults aged 65 years or older.
So, what is this condition and how does it affect your body? Diabetes is a condition in which excessively high glucose levels in the blood can jeopardize the normal function of your body’s organs. That means your heart, kidneys, liver, eyes, legs, and blood vessels are at risk of disease from this pesky and complex ailment. Since it has the ability to affect so many parts of the body, it inevitably puts a strain on your immune system, making it hard to fight off infections. Basically, it can seriously get on your nerves. We’re not kidding--it can literally cause nerve damage, also known as diabetic neuropathy.
Why is this condition on a foot care website? Well, diabetes affects not only legs but also our feet. You see, diabetics encounter foot problems because high blood sugar levels cause significant nerve damage. An impaired nervous system is not able to effectively transmit and convey messages to and from the feet, leading to numbness-or not feeling your feet at all. It’s not surprising then, that the formation of blisters, ulcers, or cuts can easily happen. To top it off, a suppressed immune system makes it harder to heal the wounds. Abnormal sweat secretion and oil production can also put pressure on your twinkle toes while walking, causing a variety of skin problems-from dry feet to sores.
While it sounds like a disease you just can’t ditch, there are several ways you can cope with diabetes. For starters, self-management is crucial. That means making healthy food choices, staying active, wearing the right footwear (comfy over trendy!), inspecting your feet daily, monitoring your blood sugar levels, and taking all your prescribed medications.
If you suffer from diabetes, it’s important you take care of your feet by working with your doctor. After all, they are there to make sure you live a happy and healthy lifestyle! To learn more about the diabetic foot care treatments we offer at Dynamic Foot Care and Ankle Center, click on our "Foot & Ankle Conditions" tab and schedule an appointment with Dr. VonderLinden today!