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Healing Numb Feet

Healing Numb Feet

Healing Numb Feet

Overview of treatment approaches:
• Nondrug therapies
• Relaxation and biofeedback
• Anodyne therapy
• Exercise
• Massage
• Daily foot care
Diabetes is hard on feet. Because the feet are farthest from the heart, any problems with blood flow can leave feet without enough circulation. Results can include numbness, loss of foot strength, and worse. Fortunately, there are some good ways to heal and protect your feet.
As Birgitta I. Rice, MS, RPh, CHES, wrote here, much of the pain and numbness people with diabetes experience comes from nerve damage. The nerves are injured both by poor circulation and by high glucose levels.
We really need healthy nerves. (As a person with a nerve disease, I know about this.) According to Rice, “Loss of nerve fibers can result in muscle weakness, numbness, loss of reflexes, foot deformities, change in gait, and impaired balance and coordination. Loss of sensitivity to pain or temperature can also occur, leading in turn to blisters and sores from foot injuries that go unfelt.”
Numbness is dangerous. Sometimes, people can have a pebble in their shoe and not notice it. Others may get in a hot bath and not realize their feet are being scalded. These kinds of seemingly minor things can lead to infections, which don’t heal because of having poor circulation. This is the major pathway to losing a leg to amputation. People with diabetes are eight times more likely than other people to have a lower leg amputated.
If you just woke up one day with numb feet, you would notice a big difference and ask about ways to treat it. It doesn’t wo Continue reading

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Treat type 2 diabetes 'like cancer': How THIS major complication can lead to early death

Treat type 2 diabetes 'like cancer': How THIS major complication can lead to early death

"Diabetes can be more significant than many forms of cancer," said Dr David G. Armstrong, professor of surgery and director of the Southern Arizona Limb Salvage Alliance at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson.
"This is a concept that's misaligned right now in medicine.
“As we move toward diseases of decay, as I call them — things like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes — our goal as physicians, surgeons, scientists and policymakers is to delay that decay."
Dr Armstrong focussed on foot ulcers - a prevalent complication for millions of people with diabetes.
Estimates indicate that as many as one-third of people with the disease will develop at least one foot ulcer over the course of their lifetime.
These wounds can lead to further complications such as strokes, heart attacks, infections, loss of limbs and premature death.
The expert said morbidity and mortality directly associated with foot ulcers often go unrecognised by doctors and patients alike.
Currently, the clinical focus is on repairing an ulcer's surrounding tissue and healing the wound.
Instead, physicians and patients need to focus on ulcer remission — that is, extending the time between the formation of ulcers, Dr Armstrong argued.
Armstrong said extending patients' ulcer-free days using treatment and prevention is essential.
"This paper is the first of its kind to call attention to remission," he explained.
"The word 'remission' has been mentioned in the literature over the last few years.
“But this is the loudest call yet, and more than any other work before, (it) lays out d Continue reading

The Connection Between Type 2 Diabetes and Hearing Loss

The Connection Between Type 2 Diabetes and Hearing Loss

How common is hearing loss in people with diabetes?
About 30 million people in the United States have diabetes, a disease characterized by high blood sugar levels. Between 90 and 95 percent of people with diabetes have type 2, which can develop at any age.
Management of this disease is crucial. When blood sugar levels aren’t well-controlled, your risk of developing hearing loss may increase.
Read on to learn more about the connection between type 2 diabetes and hearing loss and what you can do about it.
Studies show that hearing loss is twice as common in people who have diabetes than in those who don’t.
In a 2008 study, researchers analyzed data from hearing tests of adults between the ages of 20 and 69. They concluded that diabetes may contribute to hearing loss by damaging nerves and blood vessels. Similar studies have shown a possible link between hearing loss and nerve damage.
The study’s authors made no distinction between type 1 and type 2, the two main types of diabetes. But almost all participants had type 2. The authors also cautioned that noise exposure and presence of diabetes was self-reported.
In 2013, researchers analyzed studies carried out from 1974 to 2011 on diabetes and hearing loss. They concluded that people with diabetes were twice as likely to have hearing loss than people without diabetes. However, these researchers did note several limitations, such as the data being based on observational studies.
What causes or contributes to hearing loss in people with diabetes isn’t clear.
It’s known that high blood sugar can damage blood vessels thro Continue reading

How to Soak in a Bathtub When You Have Diabetes

How to Soak in a Bathtub When You Have Diabetes

According to the American Diabetes Association, 23.6 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes--sustained elevation of sugar in the blood. Numbers increase daily as Americans become obese at an alarming rate. Diet and exercise are the most effective ways to manage diabetes, but new treatment of soaking in a hot bath is gaining recognition. "DiabetesHealth" reported in a 2008 article, that Dr. Philip Hooper of the McKee Medical Center in Loveland, Colorado, conducted research for people with type 2 diabetes, and found that blood sugar levels decreased and sleep patterns were improved by daily hot tub therapy. Not all diabetes experts agree, and further study is needed, but with proper safety tools in place, diabetics can enjoy soaking in a tub and reap significant benefits.
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Check your entire body for cuts, ulcers or sores, particularly the legs and feet. Use a full-length mirror to check the back of your body. Open wounds or breaks in the skin are pathways for bacteria to begin an infection, which is an increased danger for diabetics. Wait to enjoy your bath until all skin is intact and you are free of any infection.
Eat a low-carbohydrate snack. Soaking in hot water for 15 to 20 minutes can reduce blood sugar levels and you could experience a sudden drop (hypoglycemia) that can leave you feeling weak, light-headed or confused. Make your snack a low-carb food that lasts in your system, rather than one that will only supply a fast sugar rush.
Drink 8 to 10 oz. of water before you bathe. Sitting in very warm or hot water can cause you to s Continue reading

The Relationship Between Obesity, Diabetes and the Heart

The Relationship Between Obesity, Diabetes and the Heart

We have been told one too many times that being overweight or obese is bad, but did you know the extent of damage obesity has on your health?
Obesity significantly increases your risk of diabetes and high blood pressure, and these conditions are also intimately intertwined with heart disease. For instance, an obese person’s risk of a heart attack is 3 times greater than that of a person who has a healthy weight.
Obesity vs overweight
Although we have been using these two words interchangeably, there is a subtle difference in their medical definitions.
Obesity is a condition where a person has accumulated so much body fat that it might have a negative impact on their health. This is different from being overweight, where the weight may come from muscle, bone, fat or body water.
If you weigh at least 20% more than your ideal weight, you are considered obese. To calculate your ideal weight, health professionals have suggested using your body mass index (BMI) as a rough indicator. If your BMI is 30 or above, you are considered obese.
Do keep in mind that this is a very rough gauge and having a higher than normal BMI does not necessarily mean you are unhealthy. Imagine bodybuilders! They are constantly building muscle, which means they are also putting on weight but it does not mean that their health is at stake.
Obesity can happen for many different reasons, such as consuming too many calories, leading a sedentary lifestyle and getting insufficient sleep. But regardless of the reason, being obese puts one in danger of certain illnesses, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pre Continue reading

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