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How Diabetes Affects The Feet

How Diabetes Affects the Feet

How Diabetes Affects the Feet

There's no sense in pussyfooting around: Diabetes poses a serious danger to your dogs. Having the condition doubles the risk for foot disease. In fact, about 30 percent of people with diabetes who are older than 40 develop medical problems with their feet. The damaged nerves and poor blood circulation that often accompany elevated blood sugar ensure that there is no such thing as a minor cut, scrape, bump, or bruise on the foot when you have diabetes.
While blood-sugar problems can create a dizzying range of hard-to-treat complications, lower-limb diseases that are not properly treated can deteriorate so quickly and so badly that doctors have no other choice but to eliminate the problem altogether. That's another way of saying that people with diabetes account for 60 percent of all lower-limb amputations in the United States. In fact, a patient with diabetes is 10 to 30 times more likely to have a lower limb amputated than a person without the disease.
The Feet
For two sturdy performers who take a daily pounding, the feet are surprisingly complex structures. Combined, your two feet have more than one-quarter of the bones in your body -- 26 each. Although they form the foundation for the body, the feet aren't static blocks but agile and dynamic machines of movement, with more than 100 tendons, muscles, and ligaments apiece. Given their workload and all those moving parts, it's not surprising that about 75 percent of Americans experience one foot condition or another in their lifetime, according to the American Podiatric Medical Association. (Podiatrists are foot doctors.)
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Diabetes in dogs

Diabetes in dogs

Illustration of a dog's pancreas. Cell-islet in the illustration refers to a pancreatic cell in the Islets of Langerhans, which contain insulin-producing beta cells and other endocrine related cells. Permanent damage to these beta cells results in Type 1, or insulin-dependent diabetes, for which exogenous insulin replacement therapy is the only answer.
Diabetes mellitus is a disease in which the beta cells of the endocrine pancreas either stop producing insulin or can no longer produce it in enough quantity for the body's needs. The condition is commonly divided into two types, depending on the origin of the condition: Type 1 diabetes, sometimes called "juvenile diabetes", is caused by destruction of the beta cells of the pancreas. The condition is also referred to as insulin-dependent diabetes, meaning exogenous insulin injections must replace the insulin the pancreas is no longer capable of producing for the body's needs. Dogs can have insulin-dependent, or Type 1, diabetes; research finds no Type 2 diabetes in dogs.[1][2][3] Because of this, there is no possibility the permanently damaged pancreatic beta cells could re-activate to engender a remission as may be possible with some feline diabetes cases, where the primary type of diabetes is Type 2.[2][4][5] There is another less common form of diabetes, diabetes insipidus, which is a condition of insufficient antidiuretic hormone or resistance to it.[6][7]
This most common form of diabetes affects approximately 0.34% of dogs.[8] The condition is treatable and need not shorten the animal's life span or interfere with quali Continue reading

A diabetes test you can do yourself

A diabetes test you can do yourself

Are you urinating more often, feeling very thirsty, hungry, or tired? Maybe you’re losing weight. You may have type 2 diabetes. To find out, you can make an appointment with your doctor and have your blood tested for the condition. Or you can go to the drug store, buy a blood glucose meter, and give yourself a diabetes test.
An estimated 40 percent of adults with type 2 diabetes don’t know they have it, which means they aren’t getting treatment that could protect them from very serious health problems down the road, such as heart disease, stroke, blindness, and kidney failure. The best option is to go to a doctor if you’re having symptoms of diabetes. But if you’re reluctant to do that, for whatever reason, the next best thing is to buy an over-the-counter diabetes test kit.
"If you have a family history of diabetes, are obese, or have high blood pressure, you should test yourself for diabetes, if your doctor hasn’t already done so," says Marvin M. Lipman, M.D., Consumer Reports' chief medical adviser. "By being a proactive person, you might save yourself a lot of grief in the future.”
Blood glucose meters can be purchased without a prescription. Models in our Ratings of more than two dozen devices cost $10 to $75. They usually come with 10 lancets, but you might have to buy a pack of test strips separately, which can cost $18 and up; check the package to see what it includes. If the meter doesn’t come with strips, make sure you buy a pack made for that model or you’ll get inaccurate results. Most models come with batteries. Here’s what you need to do ne Continue reading

Diabetes And Your Brain: Understand The Connection & Safeguard Your Brain

Diabetes And Your Brain: Understand The Connection & Safeguard Your Brain

Diabetes is characterized by high blood sugar levels that result from the body’s inability to produce and/or use insulin. As can be imagined, these increased blood sugar levels have a harmful impact on the whole body, and the brain is no exception.
The human brain is a complex organ, and hence is very sensitive to the harmful effects of high or blood sugar levels, since glucose and oxygen are the main fuel for brain function.
Now diabetes is a double edged sword — both hyperglycemia (or high blood glucose that comes with poorly managed diabetes) as well as hypoglycemia (or low blood glucose that can be caused by diabetes treatment) can negatively impact the brain. For diabetics, chance of brain related complications is just one more reason to keep your diabetes under control.
Effects of High Blood Glucose On The Brain
High levels of blood glucose entering the brain cause damage to blood vessels over time. The brain’s white matter is the area where nerves are linked and communicate in order to carry out every day activities of life. Think of the white matter as the subway of the brain, providing the essential connectivity, and uniting different regions of the brain into networks that perform various mental operations. When excess blood sugar levels damage the small blood vessels of the brain, this connectivity is disrupted and the result is often a dramatic disturbance of normal mental function. Over time, this damage causes changes in thinking, known as vascular cognitive impairment or vascular dementia.
Several scientific research studies have found that the longer y Continue reading

What Infections Are You at Risk for With Diabetes?

What Infections Are You at Risk for With Diabetes?

People with diabetes are more susceptible to developing infections, as high blood sugar levels can weaken the patient's immune system defenses. In addition, some diabetes-related health issues, such as nerve damage and reduced blood flow to the extremities, increase the body's vulnerability to infection.
What Kinds of Infections Are Most Likely If You Have Diabetes?
When you have diabetes, you are especially prone to foot infections, yeast infections, urinary tract infections, and surgical site infections.
In addition, yeast cells (Candida albicans) are more likely to colonize the mucous membranes (e.g., mouth, vagina, nose) in people with diabetes. These Candida
cells then interfere with the normal infection-fighting action of white blood cells. With white blood cells impaired, Candida can replicate unchecked, causing yeast infections. High blood sugar levels contribute to this process.
Other Sources of Diabetes-Related Infection
Diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage) causes problems with sensation, particularly in the feet. This lack of sensation sometimes means foot injuries go unnoticed. Untreated injuries can lead to infection. Some types of neuropathy
can also lead to dry, cracked skin, which allows a convenient entry point for infection into the body.
People with diabetes often have low blood flow to the extremities. With less blood flow, the body is less able to mobilize normal immune defenses and nutrients that promote the body's ability to fight infection and promote healing.
Why Are Infections Risky for People With Diabetes?
People with diabetes are more adversely af Continue reading

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