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Knock your socks off – Diabetes education

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Diabetes can be a challenging disease to manage. Daily pokes to measure your blood glucose. Changes to daily habits your have had all your life. The sweet tooth you enjoyed treating has been difficult to keep at bay and you may have caved into your desires more than once. If you have caught this disease early and made appropriate changes to your life, the serious complications of this disease may be repressed to your subconscious. Those who have not managed their diabetes or discovered it years after onset may already be familiar with the vision changes that occur with uncontrolled sugars or the tingling and burning that often accompany changes to nerves. The changes to the small nerves and vessels in your feet can create a dangerous situation in which you lose sensation. We have talked before about how high levels of sugar in your blood can cause nerves to work inappropriately or not at all. Once the ability to feel pain is lost, injury, infection, and amputation can quickly follow if your feet are not checked regularly.

Take heart though, neuropathy and amputation do not have to be complications of your diabetes. Avoiding these complications that can occur involve managing your sugars and regular visits with your healthcare team.

Regular visits with your physician, diabetes educator, and Dr. Thomajan can all help keep you healthy while living with diabetes. Between your healthcare visits, you should take the time to educate yourself on the latest guidelines for diabetes and your feet. The Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists have a website which provides information on diabetes and your feet. Other sources for information include the American Diabetes Association and the American Podiatric Medical Association. The podiatry profession has actually created an interactive quiz to do this. The "Knock Your Socks OFF!" link on the Diabetes Resource page is your gateway to further your knowledge. Knowing what to do is the first step in keeping diabetic complications at bay.

Until next time, keep those feet happy and healthy, Austin!

Dr. Craig H. Thomajan, DPM, FACFAS, FAENS
Founder and Managing Partner of Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists
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