It’s National Diabetes Awareness Month, and all of us at Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland think it’s a good time to talk about diabetes prevention. Expert podiatrists Dr. Megan L. Oltmann and Dr. Craig B. Frey spend a lot of time treating feet with diabetes-related conditions like poor circulation (PAD) and nerve damage. These are the types of chronic conditions that can lead to foot amputations.
Diabetes is not only a threat to your feet, but it’s also been closely linked to heart disease, stroke, cancer, depression, dementia, and, according to a recent study from Denmark, even osteoarthritis. Your entire body is telling you – diabetes is a disease you want to prevent if you possibly can.
A warning sign
One of the most significant clues that you’re at risk for developing diabetes is a diagnosis of prediabetes. Prediabetes is a blood sugar reading that’s kind of high, but not high enough to be called actual diabetes. Ignoring prediabetes will eventually lead to diabetes.
You can reverse prediabetes
If you’ve been diagnosed with prediabetes, there are definitive steps you can take to prevent it from developing into full-blown diabetes. Start with these three lifestyle changes:
- Lose weight. Losing just 5-7% of your total bodyweight can make a difference.
- See a nutritionist. Sorting through what you actually eat, figuring out what you should be eating instead – this can be tough to do on your own. Nutritionists are there to help you sort through your dietary habits and provide motivation to improve.
- Get regular exercise. It has a positive effect on blood sugar control and helps keep your weight down.
There are also prescription medications that can help lower blood sugar. However, some studies have shown that making lifestyle changes makes more of an impact than medication in preventing the onset of diabetes.
To assess your risk for prediabetes, talk to your primary care doctor. If you’re one of the 84 million Americans with prediabetes, then work with him or her to affect the lifestyle changes that can prevent diabetes. We’re here to help as well. Call our podiatry office in Solon, Ohio at (440) 903-1041 or contact us online.