No doubt you’ve heard the terms “high blood sugar” and “high blood glucose.” Here in the South, you might even hear someone say “He’s got the sugar.” They’re all referring to the same illness: diabetes mellitus, or just plain diabetes.
There are a few types of diabetes:
- Type 1, formerly known as juvenile diabetes, since it strikes people at a young age.
- Type 2, the most common form, directly relatable to diet and being overweight.
- Gestational, which affects some women during pregnancy.
- Prediabetes – high blood sugar that has the potential to become full-blown diabetes.
The podiatrists at Montgomery Foot Care Specialists, Dr. Heidi M. Christie and Dr. Chanda L. Day-Houts, hope that we’ve made our patients keenly aware of the dangers of diabetes to their feet. But it bears repeating: high blood sugar causes nerve damage (neuropathy) and blood vessel damage (peripheral arterial disease), both of which make it difficult for wounds to heal. A simple scratch on a diabetic’s foot can turn into a deep wound that doesn’t heal. In no time at all, a diabetic can be faced with the very real threat of losing a limb through amputation.
Bad for your heart, too
Yes, we’re foot doctors. But since February is National Heart Month, we thought it was important to shed some light on how destructive diabetes also is to your heart. Here are some highlights of what the medical community knows about diabetes and heart disease:
- Diabetics are at a much higher risk than non-diabetics for developing heart disease – including the buildup of plaque in the arteries around the heart, weakening of the heart muscle, and abnormalities in heart rhythm – which also put you at higher risk for stroke
- Diabetics may develop heart disease at an earlier age
- The risk of heart damage is as high as it is for a person who’s already suffered a heart attack
- Conventional treatments for heart disease, such as bypass surgery and angioplasty, are not as successful among people with diabetes
Know your diabetes risk
Take active steps to prevent diabetes and the foot and heart troubles that it brings. Talk with your primary care physician about your risks. If you have additional questions about diabetes that we can answer, we’re happy to help. Call us at our office in Montgomery, AL at (334) 396-3668 or visit us online.