World Diabetes Day 2017
Hello all! The 14th of November 2017 is World Diabetes Day. This year the International Diabetes Foundation (IDF) has chosen Women and Diabetes as the theme. We just published an article on diabetes and breast cancer in October, and it can be found here.
There are over 440 million people worldwide with diabetes, and about 200 million are women. Per the IDF, 2 of 5 women with diabetes are reproductive age accounting for 60 million people. As we have stated before, heart disease is the leading cause of death in diabetes. Women with diabetes are almost 10 times more likely than non-diabetic women to have coronary heart disease.
How about pregnant women? What about gestational diabetes?
1 in 7 births is affected by gestational diabetes, and half of the mother’s with gestational diabetes will develop diabetes type II within 5-10 years of delivery. Women who deliver an infant with a birth-weight over nine pounds also are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. More from the IDF here.
What Can I Do To Prevent Complications?
For females (and males) with diabetes, there are risk factors which are modifiable. Meaning, there are some factors that the patient can alter to decrease her risk. Most notably, diet and exercise. A diet lower in carbs may decrease the rate at which insulin resistance progresses, delaying the onset of insulin dependent diabetes mellitus. Exercise is beneficial in several ways; it will help burn off excessive calories, insulin sensitivity is increased speeding up the intake of glucose, the increase of blood flow through the vascular system may delay or retard plaque formation, vigorous exercise will release endorphins and will help your system detox and destress. There can be too much of a good thing, be sure to clear with your doctor if you plan to participate in vigorous exercise, and halt exercise if you feel light-headed, or if you feel other symptoms of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).
What About My Pedal Health?
Pedal health means the health of your feet. Fortunately there are several things that you can do to improve health or protect function in your feet. The number one thing that everyone with diabetes should do is a daily foot inspection. We have mentioned this before, and I will link to one example of a foot exam, but this should be performed every day.
Daily Foot Exam
Begin at your ankle. Look at your skin and direct your gaze down towards your feet. Inspect each of your toes, and look at the spaces between your toes. Then bend your knee, and look at the bottom of your foot. Inspect the arch, then the heel. So what are you looking for? Look for anything that looks new or out of place. Most of us have two feet, which means that we can compare and contrast (visually). So if you have peach colored skin, then the toes should all be about the same color. If one of those toes is red, compare it to the other foot or the adjacent toes and try to determine how different they are. If you have darker skin, the area may not appear red, but may appear a shade or two darker instead. Most importantly, if you see that something is different, get in to see your podiatrist right away.
Protecting Your Feet
I’m not sure if you’ve been told this already, but you should really never be walking around barefoot once you are diagnosed with diabetes. Even if you have normal sensation, and can feel every pebble and strand of carpet, get in the habit now of protecting your feet. One of the complications of diabetes is neuropathy, meaning a problem of the nerves. This results in numbness to the feet, and those affected can no longer feel, and may not be able to protect their feet by sensation alone.
I’m wishing you a happy a healthy November. Please share this article, and if you wish let others know about diabetes. It has been said that knowledge is power, and it is my hope that these articles give you knowledge, and in turn will give you some measure of power or control over your diabetes. Make sure and like us on Facebook and subscribe to our newsletter as we will be making some recommendations on useful gifts for people with diabetes.