Even if you haven’t got diabetes yourself or know somebody who does, you’re probably somewhat familiar with the basics. Blood sugar levels get too high in someone with diabetes. Their pancreas can’t produce enough insulin to process sugar and keep it at normal levels in the bloodstream. You might also have heard that diabetics have to inject themselves with insulin (Type 1 diabetics) or have to carefully watch what they eat and possibly take medication to keep their blood glucose in check (Type 2 diabetics).
Beyond the basics, there are many facts about diabetes that remain somewhat obscure among the general public; for example:
- Diabetics are at higher risk for heart disease. Blood vessel damage and poor circulation affect the heart and the entire circulatory system.
- Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in working-age adults. High blood sugar can cause severe damage to the retina and small blood vessels in the eye.
- There’s no cure for Type 1 diabetes. You may have read or heard somewhere that diabetes is reversible, and if you did, they were referring to Type 2 diabetes, which can be controlled and even reversed through diet and exercise. Type 1 is an autoimmune disease that usually strikes people at a young age and isn’t curable.
- Many emotional and psychological issues come with diabetes. Diabetes often triggers mental health issues because of all the time and energy it takes to control the disease. Chronic stress, stress on the family, depression, and shame thrust upon you by people who judge you or don’t understand the disease are just some examples of the cascade of emotions that the American Diabetes Association has coined “Diabetes Distress.”
- Uncontrolled diabetes can be hell on your feet. Over time, high blood glucose causes poor circulation in your lower limbs, making it tough for even minor cuts or scrapes to heal. Slow-healing wounds must be carefully watched by a podiatrist such as Dr. Megan L. Oltmann or Dr. Craig B. Frey of Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland. Such wounds can very quickly turn into deep ulcers and infections that lead to amputation. Diabetics must be vigilant about foot care!
- Signs of diabetes include numbness, tingling, or lack of sensation in your feet. Don’t ignore these symptoms; rather, make an appointment with us as soon as possible for a complete foot exam. Our number in Solon, Ohio is (440) 903-1041.