Did you know that over 23 million Americans have diabetes? The American Diabetes Association estimates that there are also another 7 million who have the disease but haven’t been diagnosed. At Gentle Professional Foot Care, we know that diabetes is a condition that has serious ramifications for your feet. Many foot problems are caused or made significantly worse by this disease. In recognition of American Diabetes Month 2018, we’d like to explore some ways to help prevent diabetes.
Factors You Can’t Change
When it comes to diabetes, there are some risk factors that you can’t change, but it’s important to be aware of them. These include:
Age—your risk for type 2 diabetes increases as you age. While you can’t slow the clock, you can make sure you do everything possible to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Race—certain ethnic groups have a higher risk of developing diabetes, including African Americans, Mexican Americans, American Indians, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders and Asian Americans.
Family History—if an immediate family member (mother, father, sister or brother) has diabetes, your risk is higher for developing the disease. You should tell our podiatrist Dr. Charles A. Suleskey if anyone in your family (including aunts, uncles or grandparents) has been diagnosed with diabetes.
Changing What You Can
There are many risk factors for diabetes that you can control. These include:
Weight—being overweight drives up your risk for type 2 diabetes. If you are overweight, even losing 10-15 pounds can make a big difference. Make small changes to get started:
Keep a record of what you eat and when.
Don’t skip breakfast.
Drink plenty of water throughout the day.
Downsize your portions automatically by using a smaller plate.
Substitute low-fat and low-calorie snacks for cookies and chips.
Add more vegetables and fruits to your daily diet.
Eliminate sugary sodas and juices.
Physical Activity—regular exercise and an active lifestyle reduce your risk of diabetes. Find more ways to build activity into your day:
Park farther away from shops and your office
Try a variety of types of exercise
Go for a walk at lunch hour
Walk while you talk on the phone
Medical Care—get regular checkups and follow all the doctor’s instructions for minimizing your risk for developing diabetes and other systemic diseases. Inspect your feet regularly and if you notice anything unusual in their appearance or you have cuts or sores that don’t seem to be healing promptly, contact our Venice office for an appointment by calling: (941) 493-7999.