There’s something very unique about the month of November! It’s not just the month that we give thanks for all we have and celebrate by eating copious amounts of turkey, but it also happens to be American Diabetes Month! And November 14th is World Diabetes Day. The American Diabetes Association declares the goals of this month as being to raise awareness about diabetes and the issues surrounding this disease, and to come together as a community to fight diabetes.
Diabetes Mellitus is one of the fastest growing acute diseases among Americans. Approximately 26 million adults and children in America currently have diabetes, and a whopping 79 million have “pre-diabetes” which means that they are at a much greater risk for developing diabetes in the future.
It is important to be informed about this health issue which has become so prevalent in our society, and what better time to learn about diabetes than American Diabetes Month!
Diabetes is a disease that affects body’s ability to produce insulin, a hormone necessary to digest and absorb the glucose from the foods that you eat.
There are two types of diabetes:
- Type I Diabetes, or Juvenile Diabetes, mostly affects children and occurs when the body is unable to produce insulin.
- Type II Diabetes most commonly affects adults, typically those who may be overweight and/or consume a diet rich in sugary and fatty foods. Those with Type II Diabetes may still produce insulin, but perhaps not enough that the body needs.
Symptoms of diabetes include frequent urination, constant hunger and thirst, unusual weight loss, and fatigue. It is important to see a doctor immediately if you have any combination of these symptoms. If left untreated diabetes can be very dangerous; it can lead to blindness, numbness, ketoacidosis, hearing loss, kidney disease, and high blood pressure, just to name a few risks.
If you do have diabetes, it is especially important that you see your podiatrist regularly because your feet can be particularly susceptible ulcers, sores, infection, numbness, and poor circulation.
Diabetics should also take a look at these tips on taking care of your feet.
There is no cure for diabetes but it is treatable. Doctors and scientists are working hard to make strides towards better ways to manage the disease, and ultimately to finding a cure.
One way to get involved is to sign-up for a diabetes walk! This could be a great family activity too, spending a few hours outside with the kids. Especially this month, communities all over the country are coming together to fight diabetes.
If you or someone you love is at risk for developing Diabetes, call 845-298-9074 to schedule an immediate appointment at our Wappingers Falls podiatry office.
By David Schlam