Diabetes: Risk to Heart and Feet

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At Gentle Professional Foot Care, we know that patients with diabetes have to take extra precautions when it comes to caring for their feet. The difficulty healing wounds and ulcers on the feet due to poor circulation as well as neuropathy, which can make it harder to detect injuries before they turn into wounds or become infected, are among the dangers of diabetes. Did you know, however, that adults with diabetes are also two to four times more likely to have heart disease? In recognition of American Heart Month, we want to share some important information about diabetes and how to detect it.

Type 2 diabetes (the most common) is usually diagnosed in middle age adults. Most of the food you eat is converted into glucose and used as energy in your body. To most efficiently use glucose, the pancreas makes a hormone called insulin which is necessary for delivering glucose from the blood to the cells in your body. Diabetes develops if your pancreas does not produce enough insulin or your body develops insulin resistance, which may cause glucose to build up to dangerous levels in your bloodstream. This raises your risk of several serious medical conditions including kidney disease, stroke, high cholesterol and heart disease.

Warning Signs and Risk Factors

It’s estimated that as many as 6 million adults in the US may have diabetes and not even know it. Your chance of developing diabetes is increased if you have one or more of the following present:

·         Family history of diabetes or gestational diabetes

·         A sedentary lifestyle

·         Overweight and over the age of 45

·         Consume a diet high in refined sugars and carbohydrates

·         High blood pressure

·         High cholesterol

·         Asian American, Latino/Hispanic-American, Native American, African American or Pacific Islander descent

In many instances, signs of diabetes will first manifest in your feet. Burning or tingling sensations in your feet or lack of sensation can be an indicator of diabetes. A sore or cut on your foot that doesn’t appear to be healing may also be a sign. If you have noticed any of these symptoms, it’s important that you make an appointment at our Venice office by calling 941-493-7999. Our podiatrist, Dr. Charles A. Suleskey, will examine your feet and help determine if the cause of these symptoms is diabetes or another condition.