5 Mistakes that Put You at Risk for Diabetes

There’s no escaping this fact: diabetes is on the rise in the U.S. and all over the world.

A few stats:

  • 3% of people in the U.S. – 29 million – have diabetes
  • 4 million more Americans will be diagnosed with diabetes this year
  • Each year, more than half of all lower-limb amputations in the S. are caused by diabetes

Are you at risk?

It may be within your power to prevent becoming one of these statistics. The podiatrists at Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland want you to be aware of all the factors that put you at risk for diabetes. For example, if you have a parent, brother, or sister with the disease or are of Hispanic, Asian, American Indian, or African descent, you have a greater chance of becoming diabetic yourself. These are risk factors that have to do with genetics and are completely out of your control.

What Dr. Megan L. Oltmann and Dr. Craig B. Frey stress to our patients are the risk factors that are completely within your control. Here are 5 mistakes that people make that put them at greater risk for becoming a diabetes statistic:

  1. Never talking to your doctor about your risk. Ask your primary care physician, “Am I at risk for diabetes?” Your doctor will take into account your age, weight, and blood work results to answer this essential question.
  2. Spending lots of time sitting on the couch. Or at your desk. Or in the car. Regular exercise is the key to keeping the extra pounds off that increase your risk of diabetes. Studies have shown that even a short walk after a meal decreases risk.
  3. Eating an unhealthy diet. A diet rich in sugar and processed foods, and low in fiber and whole grains puts you at greater risk.
  4. Smoking. Cigarette smoking has been directly linked to a higher incidence of diabetes.
  5. Ignoring the warning signs. Untreated diabetes gets worse over time, so if you notice any of the warning signs, you must consult a doctor as soon as possible.

Our expert podiatrists in Solon, OH can educate you about the warning signs of diabetes and help you assess your personal risk. If you do become diabetic, we would like to be your partners in preventing the kind of damage to your feet that can lead to amputation. Contact us online or call us at (440) 903-1041.