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March 27th Is American Diabetes Association Alert Day

Did you know that there over 7 million Americans unaware they have diabetes or are considered prediabetic? According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA) statistics, there were approximately 30 million people with diabetes in 2015, with nearly 25% of those people being 65 years or older and increasing each year. This year, March 27th is American Diabetes Association Alert Day, and the ADA uses this day to raise awareness about this debilitating disease, and provide individuals the opportunity to take a free Type 2 Diabetes Risk Test.

About Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease that occurs when a person’s blood sugar levels are too high. Over time, having high blood sugar can lead to more serious health problems all over the body including: heart disease, kidney disease, dental disease, stroke, nerve damage, and foot problems. There are numerous types of diabetes, but the two most common are type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is more common than type 1 and usually develops in adult life, whereas type 1  diabetes occurs more often in childhood. People who have type 2 diabetes often do not know they have it until a serious complication arises (i.e. heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, vision loss, foot ulcer formation, or even lower limb amputations).

There are numerous factors that increase the risk of a person developing type 2 diabetes such as: age, family history of diabetes, being inactive, having high blood pressure, poor diet, and weight control. The ADA created a simple, easy-to-use test to assess your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.  You can take the test by going to Type 2 Diabetes Risk Test.

Why Diabetics Should See a Podiatrist

Your podiatrist plays a crucial role in managing serious side effects of diabetes and your foot health. Since the feet are the farthest structures from the heart, signs and symptoms of diabetes can appear first in the foot, such as peripheral neuropathy, and vascular issues. If your podiatrist suspects diabetes, they will perform specific neuro and vascular exams to determine the presence, or progression of diabetes complications. Signs and symptoms to lookout for include: loss of sensation in your feet, cold feet, changes in skin color, and wounds that do not seem to be healing. Your podiatrist can act as the first line of defense in detecting these changes and help protect and manage your feet from serious, life-threatening complications of diabetes.

If you would like more information about diabetes, you can visit the following websites that provide valuable information:

American Diabetes Association

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) – Diabetes Awareness

Diabetes Care Education

Diabetes Self-Management Patient Education

If you or someone you know has diabetes, or thinks they might be at risk, please do not hesitate to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jay C. Larson  at Sole Foot and Ankle Specialists in Glendale, Arizona, and have all your treatment options presented to you to ensure your feet stay healthy.


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