Obesity, Diabetes, and Your Child’s Feet

Remember the term “juvenile diabetes?” While that name is still around, you’re more likely to hear “Type 1 diabetes” to describe this autoimmune disease. Type 1 diabetes usually strikes a person when they’re quite young. There’s no way to prevent it and there isn’t any cure for it.

However, in the United States and many other places around the world, there’s an epidemic of children with Type 2 diabetes. In decades past, Type 2 diabetes would only affect adults who’ve lost the ability to use the hormone insulin properly. Blood sugar levels rise to dangerous levels without insulin, causing a slew of problems with blood circulation and proper function of nerves, kidneys, eyes, and heart.

More and more, these types of problems are affecting children.

What’s behind the epidemic?

There are a number of reasons why children are developing Type 2 diabetes. The two main causes are lack of exercise and a poor diet. Both of these lead to obesity in children, and there’s a strong link between obesity and the onset of diabetes.

Childhood obesity and diabetes matter to our podiatrists

In September, Dr. Megan L. Oltmann and Dr. Craig B. Frey, the fully-licensed foot and ankle surgeons at Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland, are observing Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. Dr. Oltmann and Dr. Frey have extensive experience treating children’s feet and ankles.

First of all, we know that an overweight child is at risk for foot problems including

In addition, we know that when a child develops Type 2 diabetes, we need to pay special attention to their feet. Uncontrolled diabetes, also known as high blood sugar, can

  • affect the sensitivity of a child’s feet – nerve damage makes feet numb
  • cause blood vessel damage, meaning foot wounds may not heal properly

Any child living with Type 2 diabetes in Cuyahoga County should visit our office in Solon, Ohio to have their feet examined, to relieve any current foot pain, and to get recommendations for avoiding diabetic foot complications in the future. Call us at (440) 903-1041 or click here to make an appointment online.