For people who are diagnosed with type-2 diabetes in their adult years, there are a range of conditions that they need to be aware of, including reduced feeling in their extremities that can be aided with the help of diabetic socks. However, statistics show that without proper care, blindness and kidney disease are also significant factors.
Incidence of Diabetes in the United States
According to the American Diabetes Association, roughly 26 million people suffer from diabetes, yet seven million of those have an undiagnosed condition. Up to 80 million may be at risk for the disease depending on what risk factors are used. African-Americans, Mexican-Americans and those of Puerto Rican descent are all more likely to develop the condition.
People who urinate very frequently and/or feel thirsty or hungry during eating may have pre-diabetes. Other symptoms of the condition can include massive weight fluctuations or fatigue caused by the body struggling to regulate blood sugar levels. Those with some or all of these symptoms may want to consult with a doctor so that if they are diagnosed quickly, they can begin preventive care that can include diabetic socks.
Amputations, Retinopathy and Kidney Disease Reports in Diabetics
Men and women who have been diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy as a result of diabetes need to take extra care to minimize the risk of permanent limb damage. More than 60 percent of all lower-limb amputations comes from people with insulin sensitivity, or more than 65,000 per year.
While using diabetic socks to minimize the constriction of blood flow is important, so too are frequent checks. Any numbness or bluish skin should be checked out by a doctor, as well as an expansion in numbness throughout the limb. Calves and feet are the most common limbs at risk for amputation, but hands and arms are also of potential concern for those with peripheral artery disease. In the case of the latter, a decrease in grip strength due to a lack of feeling may be a major warning sign. For the legs, look out as well for problems with balance or standing up.
Kidney failure is another concern for people with diabetes. If you have trouble urinating or notice swelling in your lower limbs, these are warning signs that you may have problems. You may also have trouble keeping food down or simply have no interest in eating. While kidney dialysis or transplants may help, the former is seen as painful for many patients and may require frequent treatments.
More than one in four diabetes patients will also be diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy, or vision problems arising from complications, according to the American Diabetes Association. While the initial signs are similar to floaters in one’s vision, any significant blurring may be a sign that the condition is progressing and over time, it can lead to near-total blindness. It is already the leading cause of vision loss in Americans aged 18 to 74.
As mentioned in other articles, diet and exercise play a key role in minimizing the risk for heart disease and the above conditions. Focus on eating few, if any, processed foods and focus on fruits, vegetables and whole grains. For proteins, fish and poultry are common options. Getting in the habit of eating at the same times will help limit blood sugar spikes once you have decided on a routine that works for you.
Aerobic exercise also plays a key role by helping to minimize weight gain. Using diabetic socks if you suffer from peripheral artery disease can afford patients the ability to work out while minimizing the risk for organ damage. It is important to talk with your doctor and a certified physical therapist to make sure that any exercise plan fits both your goals and any conditions that you are facing including PAD.
If you have a family history of the condition then including loved ones in exercise and diet plans can help minimize their risks for developing diabetes. The efforts you make to reduce the likelihood of future problems are also good habits for any person to develop if they want to stay healthy.
At a time when nearly one in 10 Americans have diabetes, and one in 50 have not even been diagnosed, it is important to focus on prevention for the 80 million Americans who are in a pre-diabetic state. For those who are not so lucky, focusing on diet and exercise will help.