A Beginner’s Guide to Preventing Diabetes

Quick and dirty facts about diabetes:

  • In the United States alone, over 29 million people suffer from the disease.
  • Diabetes costs our country $245 billion every year – that includes medical cost and lost wages.
  • And here’s the killer: If you develop diabetes, your risk of death is 50% higher than if you don’t have diabetes.

Why prevent diabetes?

So diabetes causes the country some medical expenses. So you’re at higher risk for death – well, you have to die of something, right? The thing about Type 2 diabetes is that it’s completely, totally preventable. Those with Type 1 diabetes are not as fortunate, because there is no way to prevent Type 1 – but that’s only 5% of all people with diabetes. 95% of diabetes sufferers could have taken steps to prevent it.

What can happen to the diabetic foot

Along with increased risk for stroke, heart disease, blindness and kidney failure, foot problems are a huge concern for diabetic people. Feet are our focus at Montgomery Foot Care Specialists, and our experienced podiatrists, Dr. Michael L. Rosenberg and Dr. Heidi M. Christie, have made this list of issues we look out for in our diabetic patients:

  • Poor circulation – blood flow slows down, making it difficult for your body to quickly repair physical damage from a cut or a sore.
  • Nerve damage, also called neuropathy – causes you to lose feeling in your hands and feet. Loss of feeling means you can’t tell if you’ve hurt your foot. Small cuts can become ulcers that won’t heal. Ulcers that won’t heal can lead to amputation of your foot.
  • Neuropathy leads to bone damage – sudden breaks in the bones of your foot.
  • Skin problems – reduced sensitivity to changes in temperature and the breakdown of skin as a protective barrier are two big problems.
  • Ingrown toenails, toenail fungus, narrowing of the arteries (peripheral artery disease) are all issues that can pose a huge threat to your foot health.

Preventing diabetes

Our staff highly recommends that your take the following steps to lower your risk:

  1. Lose weight.
  2. Eat a healthy diet.
  3. Be more active.

It really is that simple. Eating right and exercising is the key to preventing Type 2 diabetes.

We welcome your questions about preventing diabetes or about caring for your diabetic feet if you already have the disease. If you have already been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, seeing our podiatrists on a regular basis is essential. For your convenience, we offer appointment-making two ways: call us at our Montgomery office at (334) 396-3668, or make an appointment online.

According to the American Diabetes Association, at least 1 out of every 3 Americans will develop Type 2 diabetes in their lifetime.