There are more than 20 million Americans with diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is commonly referred to as “juvenile diabetes.” It is a chronic, but not necessarily fatal, disease. Type 1 diabetes is when a misfiring autoimmune response within the body results in the destruction of insulin-creating pancreatic cells. Type 1 diabetes can be treated with insulin, exercise and a diabetic diet.
Type 2 diabetes is the more common form of diabetes. Nearly 95 percent of all diabetics in the United States have Type 2 diabetes, which is sometimes called slow-onset diabetes and appears over the course of several years. With Type 2 diabetes, the body produces insulin but cells do not respond to it correctly.
Treatment for Type 2 diabetes typically includes a change in diet, exercise habits and weight loss. Oral medications and insulin medications are also possible treatments. Sedentary, obese and elderly individuals are disproportionately affected by Type 2 diabetes.
Symptoms of diabetes include excessive thirst, excessive urination, extreme hunger, unusual weight loss, extreme fatigue, irritability, nausea and sweet or fruity smelling breath. There is currently no cure for diabetes.
Diabetic Foot Wound Care
Diabetics are more likely to have foot problems and diabetic wounds than non-diabetics and, because diabetes can cause nerve damage, they may not notice foot injuries until severe damage or infection develops. As a result, foot care is a very important part of a diabetic’s daily routine. A good foot care routine should include:
- Washing your feet daily, drying between toes and using moisturizer (but not between toes). Power use should be avoided.
- Making sure shoes fit properly and have support to protect your toes.
- Wearing absorbent socks and changing them as needed
- Being active, and informing your physician of your activity
- Regularly checking the skin of the feet
- Avoiding heating pads and soaking your feet
- Seeking medical help at any sign of a blister or change in appearance of your feet
- Seeking and keeping follow-up appointments related to health conditions
It is also prudent to avoid going barefoot, wearing socks with holes in them or having anyone other than a physician shave calluses.