Actress Viola Davis narrates a new documentary film about diabetes called “A Touch of Sugar.” We imagine the name of the film comes from the way some people express the fact that they’ve got the disease. High blood sugar is the hallmark of diabetes. Let’s look at some statistics:
- First of all, diabetes affects over 30 million people in the United States
- Furthermore, diabetes isn’t going away. Studies show that the incidence of diabetes will increase by more than half over the next decade.
- Finally, 84 million people have prediabetes. That means that unless they take active measures to bring down their blood sugar levels, they’ll eventually progress to full-blown Type 2 diabetes.
What these numbers mean for your feet
All of these facts and figures concern doctors everywhere, including Dr. Kenneth R. Wilhelm, board-certified podiatrist at Clifton Foot & Ankle Center in Fairfax County, Virginia. High sugar is a sour deal for your feet in two major ways:
- Peripheral neuropathy: nerves that are located furthest away from the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) are called peripheral. Peripheral neuropathy means the nerves in and around your feet are damaged. You lose feeling in your feet. That can be very dangerous, because you may hurt your foot and not feel it.
- Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) refers to blood vessel blockages in the vessels that carry blood to your feet. When blood can’t easily reach your foot, it means that healing is very slow or doesn’t happen at all.
These two very real threats make the risk of toe or foot amputation very high among people with diabetes.
Don’t put your feet at risk
The goal of “A Touch of Sugar” is to educate people about the seriousness of diabetes. It also hopes to reduce the stigma surrounding Type 2 diabetes. There are no stigmas at our podiatry office. Patients with diabetes should freely come to us with any concerns about their feet. We recommend that diabetics make an appointment for a complete foot check once per year – even if nothing seems wrong. Contact us online with any diabetes questions or concerns. You may also click here for an appointment or call our Centreville office at (703) 996-3000.