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April is Limb Awareness Month

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If you are someone who has diabetes, you need to pay careful attention to your feet. Your heart is responsible for pumping blood throughout your body – when the vessels become thick with sugar your heart has to work harder to get its job done. Because your feet are the furthest place away from your heart, they can become susceptible to injury and disease, especially when you have a clogged artery in your leg.

Protect Your Feet
Type 2 Diabetes Spotlight10

Take Care of Your Feet

Thursday April 17, 2014

My mentor would always say, "you can tell a great deal about someone's health by looking at their feet." It didn't take me long in the field of diabetes to understand what she meant by that. I have seen patients with amputated toes, foot injuries, fungal infections, bunions, ulcers, hammer toes, and corns. I have also seen people with beautiful feet-healthy, soft and peachy colored feet. The difference between the two? Chronically high blood sugars, elevated blood pressure, smoking and obesity can negatively impact your feet. If you are someone with diabetes, you are more susceptible to peripheral neuropathy and other foot related deformities. It's important to have a comprehensive foot exam annually, check your feet daily and practice good hygiene. Not all people with diabetes are destined to have foot related issues, but those you ignore their foot may.

Knowing what to look for and how to protect your feet can protect your limbs. If you have diabetes foot related issues, you may be eligible for diabetes shoes. Medicare covers one pair yearly. Get educated on your foot health today so that you can save your limbs.

 

What Should You Eat for Lunch?

Sunday March 30, 2014

Lunch can be a tough meal, especially if your work days are hectic. Packing a lunch is a good idea, because  bringing your own food saves on calories, fat, sodium, carbohydrates and money. Leftovers are one of the best lunch options - convenient, tasty and efficient. I like to pack my lunch while serving dinner. I set aside a portion for the next day and don't have to think about it in the morning when I am pressed for time. Make it a goal to bring lunch at least three days a week.

Diabetes Risk Factors

Sunday March 30, 2014

March 25th was Diabetes Alert Day. The American Diabetes Association estimates that nearly 7 million people have diabetes and don't know it. Early detection of diabetes is important for preventing complications. Last week, I was working with a gentlemen referred to me for weight loss. He has a family history of diabetes and heart disease, and takes medicine for blood pressure and cholesterol. Because his doctor never tested him for diabetes, we arranged for him to have blood work this week. In the event that he has diabetes, we can start to treat it. Or, if his blood work indicates that he has prediabetes, we can make efforts to prevent it. Perhaps this test will motivate him to make some lifestyle changes that will improve his health. I really hope I can help him to reach his health goals. He just needs to find his motivation: awareness may be the driving force. I encourage all my patients 45 and older with diabetes risk factors to get tested for diabetes.

Tools for Detecting Low Blood Sugars

Sunday March 30, 2014

This week one of my patients was feeling a bit lethargic, but thought that she was just tired because she didn't sleep well the night before. The first thought that came to my mind was that her blood sugar was low. I asked her to take out her meter and test her blood sugar. Sure enough, it was low - 60. She was shocked. I gave her a 4oz juice box and we re-tested 15 minutes later.  Her blood sugar had risen to a safe level - 85. After some talking, we pinpointed the reason her sugar dropped - she took her diabetes medicine without eating. The medication she takes sends a signal to her pancreas to make insulin, therefore I explained to her that she cannot take her diabetes medication without food. And if she is not going to eat, she shouldn't take it. Being that she doesn't seem to recognize or feel her low blood sugars, we also discussed the possibility of getting her a continuous glucose monitor (CGM). A CGM could alert her when her blood sugar is dropping. In the event that she is out and her blood sugar drops, she would avoid a dangerous situation by being notified as to where her blood sugar was trending.  We are going to talk to her doctor this week about getting a prescription for a CGM. I am really happy about this because she is an older woman who lives alone. Our goal is to prevent low blood sugars and a CGM can help to do that.

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