At Clifton Foot & Ankle Center, we want our patients to be alert to the effects of diabetes on their feet. They are significant and potentially very damaging. Fortunately, the American Diabetes Association gives us Diabetes Alert Day, an annual “wake-up call” and an opportunity for us to talk about your risk of developing diabetes.
Take a look at the following risk factors:
- you’re over 45 years old
- you’re overweight or obese
- you have high blood pressure
- you don’t engage in regular exercise
- you don’t eat a balanced diet
- you have a family history of diabetes
- you’ve been diagnosed with prediabetes
Focus on prediabetes
If you’ve been diagnosed with prediabetes, it means that your blood sugar levels are high, but they haven’t quite risen to the level of a diabetes diagnosis. Doctors are clear on what this means: if you don’t take steps to change the trajectory of your blood sugar levels, you will progress to having diabetes, a disease that affects every primary system in the body.
So, what are the steps to lower blood sugar levels and avoid diabetes? The two most effective steps are
- Improve your diet – eliminate processed foods and eat a variety of healthy foods, including whole grains, lean protein, and lots of fresh vegetables.
- Get moving – begin an exercise program such as walking or swimming, with your doctor’s guidance.
The ADA says that 88 million people are prediabetic, but the majority of them (almost 90%) don’t even know it! So be alert to your risk. If you have any of the risk factors for developing Type 2 diabetes, ask your doctor about being tested.
All diabetics need to be vigilant about caring for their feet. Board-certified podiatrist Dr. Kenneth R. Wilhelm has been helping residents of Fairfax County take care of their feet for more than 20 years. Call our podiatry office in Centreville, Virginia, at (703) 996-3000 or click here to request an appointment online.