Diabetes Facts for American Diabetes Month

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In honor of American Diabetes Month, we’ve put together a fact sheet about Diabetes and how it affects millions of American adults. We hope you’ll become familiar with these facts to educate yourself and those you love to raise awareness for this common disease.

What is Diabetes?

  • Type 1:  Usually diagnosis occurs early, when the patient is a child or young adult. The pancreas seems to suddenly stop producing insulin. Insulin is the hormone that controls blood sugar levels, so without it, glucose levels rise and can cause damage to other parts of the body.
  • Type 2: Usually affects people later in life (i.e. after 45 years old). The pancreas produces insulin, but the body does not use it properly and eventually becomes insulin-resistant and blood glucose levels increase as above.

The Numbers:

  • According to the CDC, about 29.1 million US adults have diabetes, and 1 in 4 do not know they have it.
  • Only about 5% of diabetics have Type 1 diabetes, with the rest being Type 2 diabetes.
  • Going forward, it seems that 1 in 3 people will develop diabetes in their lifetime.

Causes, Signs, Symptoms:

  • The exact cause is unknown, but it is believed that genetics and environmental factors play a part.
  • Signs and Symptoms: Urinating often and being thirstier than usual; feeling hungry and tired; blurry vision, and slow healing wounds.
  • Additional signs for Type 1: Weight loss, without trying.
  • Additional signs for Type 2: Tingling or numbness in the hands and/or feet.

Risk Factors:

  • Excess Weight.
  • Inactivity or very little activity.
  • Smoking.
  • High levels of blood glucose, blood pressure, cholesterol.
  • Gestational diabetes, which can lead to type 2 diabetes later.

How your feet are affected:

  • High blood glucose can lead to damaged nerves. This results in diabetic peripheral neuropathy.     
  • Some diabetes patients are diagnosed when they notice numbness or tingling in their feet.
  • If you have a foot injury or infection, it can be slow to heal due to decreased blood flow and circulation.

Now that you’ve got the facts, you know the importance of checking your feet every day. If you have lost sensation in your feet, make an appointment with us at The Podiatry Group. Our podiatrists, Dr. Mark E. Reiner, Dr. Michael A. Haughey, Dr. William G. Coates, and Dr. Erik D. Rosenlof can perform a thorough assessment at our Jonesboro, AR office to treat your feet and ankles and keep them strong.