Diabetes affects around 30 million people in the US, but nearly 8 million are undiagnosed. The complications and problems that can arise from diabetes are often life-threatening, including heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, and even amputations. It has been asserted that activity and weight control can be key in preventing diabetes and the significant repercussions of this disease.
Diabetes is a serious health hazard facing around 30 million people in the US, and nearly 8 million are not yet diagnosed. American Diabetes Alert Day is the perfect time to bring attention to this disease while informing and encouraging the public to get tested. Celebrated annually on the 4th Tuesday in March, American Diabetes Association Diabetes Alert Day seeks to educate and enlighten through programs, events, testing sites, and incentives. Attention to diabetes prevention now can help you bypass the life-changing consequences of diabetes, including mobility issues and loss of independence, later.
When it comes to preventing diabetes, research suggests that weight control is key. Control weight with activity and you not only lessen your chances for contracting this disease, but you also are able to more effectively control and manages symptoms if you have diabetes. Resistance training and cardio or aerobic activity are considered the best combination for your diabetic fitness regimen as it improves your body’s ability to absorb sugar and use insulin. Also, a healthy weight makes you feel better overall and reduces your risk for diabetes in the first place.
Additionally, there are some lifestyle habits that can make you more prone to contracting diabetes- and that can make your blood sugar go haywire if you already have the disease. Smoking narrows blood vessels making it more difficult for blood to reach your organs. Alcohol metabolizes sugar, which wreaks havoc with insulin and glucose levels in the body. Plus, if you drink regularly, you are adding empty calories to your diet that could result in weight gain over time. The ‘beer belly’ that can be produced from chronic imbibing puts you at higher risk for heart disease and diabetes.
Wondering what to watch for when it comes to signs of an issue? The warning signs of diabetes, or pre-diabetes, include these symptoms:
- Increased thirst
- Frequent urination
- Severe hunger
- Inexplicable weight loss
- Ketones in the urine
- Fatigue and lethargy
- Irritability and mood swings
- Blurry or decreased vision
- Slow-healing wounds or injuries
- Frequent infections, such as bladder or urinary tract
It is key to inform your doctor or seek medical attention if you notice these signs persistently. They can conduct a simple test to determine your blood sugar levels and if you are vulnerable to diabetes.
Complications from Diabetes
So, what complications does diabetes actually cause? There are numerous problems and risks associated with diabetes and uncontrolled blood sugar levels. Many of them are a threat to life and limb.
Some of the potential complications arising from diabetes are:
- Diabetics are at an increased risk of cardiovascular problems, including angina, heart attack, stroke, and atherosclerosis.
- Diabetes can also cause nerve damage and neuropathy, which is quite painful. The result is a burning sensation in limbs, generally in the legs but it can occur in any extremity.
- Diabetes also wreaks havoc with your kidneys. Serious kidney damage may lead to kidney disease and dialysis treatments, which you will need for the rest of your life.
- Loss of vision and blindness are also potential consequences of diabetes. Diabetes damages blood vessels in the eye, often causing glaucoma or cataracts, too.
- Poor circulation and nerve damage may lead to infections of the feet, which may bring up the need for amputation. Amputations are common among severe diabetics.
- Diabetes causes wounds to heal more slowly and makes you more prone to skin problems, including fungal infection.
- Oddly enough, diabetics are more prone to issues related to their hearing.
- It is not uncommon for those with diabetes to also struggle with depression or other mood disorders. It may become a vicious cycle as many depressed individuals may be challenged with or avoid active diabetes management.
It makes sense to do what you can do now to improve mobility and ward-off diabetes- including maintain a healthy weight and remain active. If you live with mobility issues or physical limitations, this may include implementing mobility aids that make it more convenient and practical to get out and get moving. Talk to a mobility aids vendor in your area to learn more.
If you are living with physical limitations from diabetes- or any other condition- reach out to the industry experts at Pacific Mobility; we have the knowledge, experience, and high-quality devices to improve access and enhance everyday life for you. From lifts and scooters to chairs and canes, we offer service and support unrivaled by any other mobility dealer widely. Call or visit us today.
President, Husband, Father, Grandfather Graduate of UC Davis- Bio Sci Major- Go Aggies! Jeff has extensive experience in all of Pacific Mobility’s products and services, and specializes in accessibility products as well as stairlifts, ceiling lifts and custom wheel chairs. His hobbies include spending time with family, gardening, mountain biking, exercising and off road motorcycle riding.
24 years as Owner/President of Pacific Mobility Center – selling, installing, and servicing stairlifts, porch lifts, ceiling lifts, pool lifts, handicap ramping, specialty wheelchairs, scooters, power wheel chairs, and other power mobility devices
Certified Environmental Access Consultant since 2008
Licensed General Contractor since 1998
Certified Aging in Place Specialist since 2016
Board Member for Home Access Professionals
Member of Association of Members of the Accessibility Equipment Industry (AEMA)