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The “Hidden” Effects of Diabetes

November is Diabetes Awareness Month, a great time to review some basic info about this disease that affects over 30,000,000 Americans:

  • Diabetics have a problem with the hormone insulin. The body doesn’t produce it at all (Type 1 diabetes). Or, the body becomes resistant to insulin’s effects (Type 2 diabetes).
  • Both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics need to keep a close eye on their insulin and blood sugar (glucose) levels, watching what they eat, how much they eat, and how often. They may have to perform daily injections of insulin.

Insulin, blood sugar – it’s all kind of familiar. But what if we were to tell you that talking about blood glucose, insulin, and injections – while still a huge part of the disease – is really only scratching the surface of what diabetes can do to a person?

Beyond the basics

  • Diabetes is a family disease. It’s a huge presence in a diabetic’s daily life, so the whole family is involved. Parents must teach their children how to manage it; grandparents, siblings, and babysitters need to be on the lookout for signs of hypoglycemia; children of older diabetics may need to play a role in keeping their parent on track with their meds.
  • Diabetes is a mental health issue. The pressure and anxiety of constant monitoring can take a toll on the diabetic and his or her family.
  • Diabetes affects a number of bodily systems. Diabetes eventually can damage the feet, kidneys, eyes, skin, heart, blood vessels, and nerves.

Foot care and the diabetic

Here at Clifton Foot & Ankle Center, we want our patients to know how devastating diabetes can be to foot health. Proper care of the diabetic foot is essential and should include daily foot checks at home, plus an annual appointment with our board-certified foot and ankle surgeon, Dr. Kenneth R. Wilhelm.

Dr. Wilhelm spends quality time with each patient. He’s here to help diabetics in Fairfax County, Virginia navigate both the basic and the hidden effects of the disease. Contact us online or call our office in Centreville at (703) 996-3000.

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