Why yes kids, it is. As many patients in my NYC podiatry practice know, November is National Diabetes Month. It’s the day that we all become more aware of the rapidly growing global health epidemic and it’s important to take a few minutes for some important points.
Diabetes is everywhere in in this country. As of 2011, there are 25.8 million Americans with Diabetes, or 8.3% of the population. 79 million people are prediabetic, and 26.9% of Americans over 65 are diabetic. It’s the leading cause of kidney failure, blindness and amputation. And it’s not cheap either, costing $245 billion dollars per year. Fear not, the disease does not discriminate among countries, it’s a growing scourge worldwide as well. Why is it so prevalent now? Depends who you ask, but it is likely a combination of diet and lifestyle. And while it’s convenient to blame the food industry or the soda industry or the video game industry, I think we all have to look around at our own lifestyles first.
So what do we do?
Well, of course we diet and exercise. Not crazy, necessarily. A healthy balanced diet, the definition of which is beyond the scope of this blog, is a good starting point. Exercise doesn’t have to be hard or expensive. 20 minutes of walking at least 4 times per week has enormous health benefits. And if you are diabetic, remember the ABC’s:
- A: A1C. That’s the number that measures the three month glucose history. Should ideally be under 7, but every doctor has their sweet spot, no pun intended.
- B: Blood pressure. The silent killer. Should be under 120/80.
- C: Cholesterol. These new guidelines are even confusing to doctors. The previous guidelines called for LDL under 100, or even 70 in diabetics and 130 in everyone else. Now? Who knows. Ask your doctor, keep it low.
Check your sugar every day. Check your feet every day. And remember nobody ever overdosed on common sense.
Remember if you are diabetic to keep the sugar within range. Every time it goes up, there is potential damage to the heart, eyes, kidneys and feet. And make sure you inspect your feet daily, and for the love of holy fungus, get yourself a NYC podiatrist to have your feet checked regularly to prevent diabetic foot complications such as diabetic neuropathy and more.
See you in the office.