Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Diabetes Increases Risk of Amputation

About 82,000 legs and feet are amputated each year in the United States because of diabetes. The disease affects 23.6 million people in the USA and increases the risk of lower extremity amputation by 15%.

More than 60% of all non-traumatic lower extremity amputations occur in diabetic patients. Diabetic feet are at risk because of the way the disease influences sensation, blood flow and ability to fight infections through neuropathy and vascular disease.

Many diabetics lose feeling in their feet as a result of nerve damage from poorly controlled blood glucose. Once the patient is without feeling in the bottom of their feet, they will not be able to notice if a sharp object pierces the skin or if the skin otherwise breaks, leaving the foot susceptible to infection.

The best way to prevent amputations is through patient education, preventative care and routine foot evaluations by a physcian. These evaluations recognize risk areas and test for sensitivity and blood flow to the feet. The physciain will then complete a plan for the patient which may include home care tips, follow-up appointments, corn and callus removal or the use of special shoe inserts.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Diabetic Eye Disease

High blood glucose can damage your eyes over time, which is why a person with diabetes is at risk for developing diabetic eye disease, especially diabetic retinopathy, cataracts and glaucoma.

Diabetic eye disease is the leading cause of blindness in young and middle aged adults and the longer you have had diabetes, the greater your risk. If you have diabetes, it is recommended that you get a dilated eye exam with an ophthalmologist at least once a year, especially since diabetic eye disease may be present without symptoms.

Here are some tips for diabetics to promote good eye health:

  • Eat healthy. Choose high-fiber, low-fat foods such as vegetables, lentils, beans and whole grains. Eat more fish and chicken. Avoid juice, soda, candy and fried or oily foods.
  • Reach and stay at a healthy weight. Get regular physical activity.
  • Take your medicine as prescribed by your doctor.
  • Monitor your blood sugar daily.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Get a dilated eye exam once a year. Have your ophthalmologist examine your eyes once a year. Finding eye problems early and getting treatment right away will help prevent more serious problems later on.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Not Getting Enough Shut-Eye May Increase Your Risk of Diabetes

An inadequate amount of sleep, coupled with lack of exercise and poor diet, may increase your risk of developing diabetes.

The results of a new study by the University of Chicago confirm that the ability to regulate one's blood sugar is dependent on how much sleep the person gets.

Five men and six women volunteered for the study. All were middle-aged, little overweight and exercised rarely. The study consisted of two 14-day periods: one where they were allowed to sleep 8.5 hours nightly and one where they were restricted to 5.5 hours of shut-eye a night. The volunteers were not allowed to exercise and junk food was made available to them.

When sleeping too little, the volunteers' blood sugar was higher on a glucose tollerance test and they became less sensitive to the blood sugar hormone insulin.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Diabetes on the Rise Among Hispanics

Diabetes is rising in Hispanic populations in the United States, according to 2008 statistics from the National Institutes of Health.

In general, Hispanics are diagnosed with diabetes at twice the rate of Caucasian Americans and many go undiagnosed.

According to the NIH, more than 10% of Hispanics in the United States older than 20 have been diagnosed with diabetes. At 12.6%, Puerto Ricans have the highest diabetes rate among Hispanics, but Mexican Americans and Cubans are not far behind with 11.9 and 8.2 percent respectively.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Living With Diabetes E-Newsletter

American Diabetes just launched a free community e-newsletter for news and information about living with diabetes.
Today's e-newsletter features an interesting article about lowering your glucose levels with cinnamon, information about managing diabetes with diet and exercise alone, and a delicious Shrimp and Snow Pea recipe.

Sign up for the e-newsletter today to recieve the latest news, information and recipes from American Diabetes.