The 14th of November is World Diabetes day!
Diabetes is a global pandemic that affects the lives of millions of people from a variety of backgrounds.
What is Diabetes mellitus?
Diabetes is a condition where the body is unable to effectively use and store sugar.
The cause for this dysfunction in the body’s metabolism is the inability of the body to produce insulin or the body not reacting to insulin as it usually would.
- In 2030 there will be 522 Million diabetics
- Low to middle income countries have the largest number of diabetic households
- 212 Million people who have diabetes are not diagnosed
- Diabetes is the leading cause of heart disease, stroke, organ failure and lower limb amputations
- Regular cardiovascular exercise can prevent Type 2 diabetes
The Diabetic Foot
The foot is affected the complications of diabetes:
- Diabetic patients have reduced blood flow to their hands in feet resulting in burning and cramping of the muscles.
- Reduced blood flow to nerve tissue results in neural death which presents as a numb, cold or prickling sensation.
- Diabetes compromises the immune system putting diabetics at risk for skin and nail infections.
- Nails can become thick, discolored and brittle.
- Long term diabetes can result in collapsing of the foot arches.
- Diabetic foot ulcers result from long term pressure and friction over areas of the foot.
- Due to impaired healing wounds cannot heal resulting in long standing painful wounds around the foot and ankle.
- Non-healing wounds can lead to amputation of limbs.
How can I prevent diabetic complications?
- Have regular health screenings done – Make sure you stay healthy and aware of the condition of your diabetes.
- Control sugar intake through diet and regular exercise.
- Check your feet everyday for signs of redness, calluses or nail infections.
- Use a mirror or ask a family member to help if you cant see your feet.
- Use appropriate foot wear that supports your foot and has sufficient cushioning.
- It is advisable to have shoes that can securely fit onto your foot.
- Don’t leave things to last minute, if a problem arises seek healthcare advise sooner than later.