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By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
November 15, 2017
Category: Diabetic Foot Care

November is National Diabetes Month and here at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care we partner with many patients who have this disease to help manage it and protect the health of their feet. Since neuropathy, or loss of sensation, and reduced circulatory and immune system function are all associated with diabetes, our diabetic patients have elevated risks for foot issues. What might be minor or common conditions for other patients—blisters, bunions, athlete’s foot—can pose a major potential threat to diabetic patients. Wounds and infections can be slow and difficult to heal and lead to serious consequences, even amputation. Thankfully, our foot and ankle doctors, Dr. Varun Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah, can help patients with regular podiatric care to prevent wounds and maintain the health of their feet.

Preventing Diabetes

According to the American Diabetes Association, approximately 30 million Americans over the age of 18 have diabetes. Even more startling, a little over 84 million are believed to be pre-diabetic. Your physician can determine if you fall into this category. There are ways that all patients can lower their risk of diabetes. These include:

  • Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight increases your risk of Type 2 diabetes as well as heart disease and stroke. Even losing 10-15 pounds can significantly reduce your risk. Start by cutting back on calories (swap veggies and hummus or whole grain snacks for chips, replace a starch with a salad, etc.).  Weigh yourself at least once a week. Increase the amount of water you drink—it can help you feel full.
  • Don’t smoke. Smoking, in addition to raising your chances of developing diabetes, also impedes circulation, which is a contributing factor to diabetic complications.
  • Stay active. Exercise has multiple benefits: it helps prevent diabetes, increases circulation, helps your joints stay flexible and strengthens muscles, bones and your heart. You don’t have to run a marathon! Incorporate a walk during lunch hour. If you have a desk job, set a timer to get up every 30 minutes to stretch and take a quick walk around the office. Park a little further away from stores and your office. Consider adding strength training with weights, stretches and some aerobic sessions as you progress.

Start small. Little changes are more likely to be successful. If you have additional questions about diabetes and the health of your feet, contact our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office in New Jersey by calling: 732-662-3050.

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