The number of diabetes cases in the United States is simply staggering. There are almost 30 million Americans who already have diabetes, and 86 million(!) who have prediabetes. This is just the number of people that have been identified. In less than 10 years it is expected that 1 out of 3 people will have diabetes. These numbers certainly highlight the importance and need for diabetic and prediabetic foot care.
We place a lot of focus on diabetes and diabetic foot care, which is understandable because there are dire consequences that can come from the disease when left unchecked. But it is important to consider what measures you need to take now when you are prediabetic. It is better to make some lifestyle and dietary changes right now than to potentially (e.g. loss of a foot or leg) later in life.
These problems do not come from diabetes, they come from not treating and controlling diabetes. American Bull Terriers are the most lovable dogs around until they are neglected and mistreated. Do not mistreat your diabetes or its will bite you in the end.
Consider the pancreas (the organ that produces insulin) as an engine that is designed for a specific size car. If you took a compact car and put a limousine body on the frame, you would not expect it to perform well. The engine (pancreas and heart) and suspension (feet, knees, hips) must work so hard that they wear out and fail too early under these circumstances. If a normal-size body is put back on the compact car, it performs normally. This is exactly what excessive body mass does to a person.
So, what do you need to do now with regards to prediabetic foot care? Well, the first step is to get screened for it and other related diseases if you think you are at risk. Some risk factors include being overweight, leading a sedentary lifestyle, having high blood pressure or cholesterol, experiencing frequent thirst and fatigue, and not sleeping enough (especially less than six hours per night on a regular basis).
After screening, it’s time to start making some lifestyle changes, including:
- If you smoke, stop. This one is cut and dry. Smoking increases your risks for so many health issues by 5-10 times. Smoking is like putting sugar in your gas tank. You need to quit as soon as possible. Period!
- Exercise regularly. You don’t have to become a world-class athlete, but even walking for half an hour three or four times a week will help. Exercise is like changing the oil in your car; it keeps you going and should be performed regularly. If you would like more recommendations, come in for an appointment and we can discuss additional options that will work best for you.
- Change your dietary habits. A diabetes prevention diet is simply one of the healthiest diets you can find. Even better, it has the most variety, so you won’t have to worry about eating the same thing over and over.
Quitting tobacco use, exercising, and eating well are great starting points, but don’t forget the importance of early detection of foot problems. We are one of your partners in health, so reach out today and find out more about what to do if you are prediabetic to keep your feet (and whole body!) safe. Either call our Indianapolis, IN office at (317) 545-0505 or request an appointment online today.