In order to raise awareness, November has been designated as American Diabetes Month. It is estimated that 26 million people in the United States have diabetes and another 79 million have pre-diabetes, which puts them at a high risk of developing type II diabetes. Poughkeepsie, Fishkill, and Hopewell all have an adult diabetic rate of about 8%. With the current trends, the American Diabetes Association estimates that in the year 2050, 1 out of every 3 Americans will have diabetes.
Diabetes is a condition that is characterized by a high amount of sugar in the blood. One of the symptoms diabetics have is caused by these high sugar levels, damaging nerve cells irreversibly, that is why it is so important to control your blood sugars. The symptoms of nerve damage show up first in the feet, and can cause numbness, tingling, and weakness in the lower legs and feet. Over time, you lose the ability to feel things you normally would such as an ulcer, which is a skin wound that is slow to heal or a blister you didn’t realize you had.
Your podiatrist’s role in detecting this loss of sensation is an important part of your health, which is why we test your feet for the loss of vibratory and protective sensations. We also thoroughly inspect your feet to make sure you don’t have any open cuts or deep blisters.
Diabetics frequently have other associated medical conditions involving things such as the heart and kidney. It is common to have fluid build up in a diabetic due to congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, or kidney failure, to name a few. The fluid collects in the lower legs, ankles, and feet, and is called peripheral edema.
Don’t ignore this swelling! You need to get a check-up as soon as possible to help prevent further problems and permanent damage. When you come in for your appointment at Hollowbrook Foot Specialists in Wappingers Falls, ways to reduce swelling can be discussed. Depending on your medical history, certain types of exercises or compression stockings may be a good option. In the meantime, try to stay off of your feet as much as possible, and spend time lying down with your feet propped up on 2-3 stacked pillows. This can help to decrease some of the swelling.
A yearly check-up at Hollowbrook Foot Specialists is recommended for everyone. For diabetics, more frequent visits are recommended.