November is American Diabetes Month and at Paul S. DeMarco, DPM, we treat many patients with this disease. One of the conditions associated with diabetes is nerve damage or neuropathy which causes a loss of sensation in your feet and an increased chance of injuries that can lead to infection and even amputation. It is possible to help prevent this disease. Currently, 86 million Americans are at risk for diabetes. Here are some factors that increase your risk for developing diabetes:
- Age—the older you are the greater your risk
- Gender—men are more likely to develop diabetes than women
- Being overweight
- High blood pressure
- Race—certain ethnicities have a higher incidence of diabetes, including: Mexican, African and Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders and American Indians
- Having gestational diabetes—women who had diabetes during a pregnancy are 7 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life
- Unhealthy cholesterol levels
- Inactive lifestyle
- High blood glucose
Although it’s obvious that some of the above factors are not things you can change, there are plenty of steps you can take now to help ensure you do not develop diabetes in the future. You can start by meeting with our board certified podiatrist, Dr. Paul S. DeMarco for an examination of your feet. In many cases, early signs of diabetes first show up in your feet. The foot doctor will also want to get a family medical history and it’s important to know if any of your parents or siblings has diabetes.
Small changes can add up in a big way when it comes to stacking the deck against diabetes. Eating a well balanced diet and maintaining a healthy weight, being active, having regular checkups to monitor cholesterol, glucose and blood pressure and quitting smoking will all help you avoid diabetes and lead a healthier life. If you have more questions about diabetes and foot health, contact us by calling: (609) 927-4894.