National Diabetes Month, a time to spread awareness

November. When you say November, some people think of Thanksgiving, Black Friday, or one month before the holidays. What most people don’t know is November is Diabetes Awareness Month.

There are two forms of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes, or juvenile diabetes, is more commonly diagnosed in children. Type 2 diabetes is more common, affecting millions of Americans, including celebrities and television stars such as Halle Berry, Randy Jackson, and Drew Carey.

“Diabetes is a condition in which your body does not produce enough insulin, or cells in your body ignores the insulin that is produced” says Dr. Alan Bass, owner of Central Jersey Foot and Ankle Care in Manalapan. “Your body needs insulin to break down molecules to get energy. Without insulin, many complications from diabetes can occur. Men can get heart disease, kidney damage, or even have complications with their vision. Women can get coronary heart disease, depression, or develop an eating disorder. There are many warning signs of diabetes, some of which include pain in the legs, a burning sensation in the feet or toes, or swelling of the foot or ankle”.

There are some ways to take care of your feet if you have diabetes. You should inspect your feet daily. Exercise improves circulation. It’s also important to never walk barefoot! There is an increased risk of infection in people with diabetes. Finally, make an appointment to see a podiatrist at least once a year. If untreated, infections in patients with diabetes may lead to amputation. According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, more than 65,000 lower limbs are amputated annually due to diabetic complications. Also, if you require an amputation, there is a 50% chance you will need another within five years. Luckily, seeing a podiatrist lowers amputation risk by 85%, and hospitalization risk by 24%.

Central Jersey Foot and Ankle Care, located at 98 Craig Rd. in Manalapan, NJ. If you are a diabetic, make sure to have your feet checked. Contact Dr. Alan Bass at (732) 866-4411 for an appointment today. He has daytime and evening hours to accommodate different patients needs.