The American Diabetes Association calculates that there are 1.5 million new cases of diabetes every year in the United States. One and one-half million. It’s not a stretch to call diabetes an epidemic, not only in the U.S. but in other countries, too, most notably China, India, and Mexico, where rates of diabetes are increasing at alarming rates.
If you make one New Year’s resolution for 2018, think about this one: do everything in your power to avoid getting diabetes.
Why you want to avoid diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a result of the body becoming resistant to insulin. Insulin is a hormone naturally produced by the pancreas and is used to break down blood sugar. When blood sugar levels get too high, your body will try to compensate by producing more insulin. But as time goes on, your pancreas can’t meet the demand and blood sugar gets out of control.
The results of uncontrolled blood sugar can be devastating and include
- Nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy) that causes pain, weakness, and numbness in your feet. Peripheral neuropathy makes it difficult to feel your feet.
- Damage to blood vessels that decreases blood flow to feet and toes.
- Athlete’s foot and other fungal infections.
- Eye disease, including a higher risk of glaucoma and cataracts than people without high blood sugar.
- Kidney disease.
- High cholesterol, high blood pressure, and stroke.
Don’t become a statistic
Once you’re diagnosed with diabetes, you’ve got to be ever-vigilant with things like checking your blood sugar levels, maintaining a healthy weight, engaging in exercise that’s safe for your feet, wearing special shoes, inspecting your feet daily for damage, and always keeping feet clean and moistened.
Having diabetes is clearly not anything anyone would volunteer for. So the foot doctors at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Center encourage you to resolve not to get the disease in the first place. You can accomplish this by controlling your food portions, eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, keeping at a healthy weight, exercising regularly, and getting regular physicals and blood tests to make sure you’re on track.
Our board-certified podiatrists, Samantha Boyd, DPM; Hal Ornstein, DPM; Joseph Saka, DPM; and Katy Statler, DPM treat many patients with diabetes in our Monmouth County practice. Contact us if you’d like more information about preventing or treating this pervasive disease. We have offices in Howell and Jackson, New Jersey. Call us at (732) 905-1110.