American Diabetes Month: Prevention and Wound Care
Did you know that diabetes is one of the leading causes of disability and death in the United States? More than 30 million people already have diabetes. Another 84 million adults are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, which is preventable.
With November being American Diabetes Month, we at Vohra recognize that raising awareness is the first step in lowering the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
In this article, we discuss what type 2 diabetes is, skin complications such as diabetic foot ulcers and how we can prevent those who are at risk.
What is Type 2 Diabetes?
Diabetes means you have glucose (sugar) levels in your blood that are higher than usual. Your body depends on glucose for energy. When you have diabetes, your body has trouble turning glucose into energy. Instead of being used by your body, the glucose builds up in your blood and your body is starved of energy.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. People who are overweight, are over the age of 40, have a genetic history of diabetes, and have poor lifestyle habits are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.
Diabetic Foot Ulcers
One of the more common wounds found in diabetics is a diabetic foot ulcer. Around 15 percent of patients with diabetes experience this type of wound that is commonly located underneath the foot. Due to foot ulcerations, there is an 85 percent chance of diabetes-related amputations in the United States. With proper wound care and preventative measures, a diabetic foot ulcer is treatable.
Anyone with diabetes can develop a foot ulcer. Due to nerve damage or neuropathy, diabetics often lose their ability to feel sensations such as pain, heat, and cold. Therefore, initial symptoms of a foot injury can go unnoticed. By having proper treatment methods, wound infections and amputation rates can be reduced significantly.
According to the Landmark Lewin Study on VOHRA Wound Outcomes as published in the Ostomy Wound Management journal, skilled nursing facilities in partnership with Vohra Wound Physicians experience a practice of modern wound care standards and an interdisciplinary approach to wound care led by a Vohra physician through the Vohra Centers of Excellence in Wound Management Program.
As a result, skilled nursing facilities in partnership with Vohra Wound Physicians, were found to have an 86% decrease in wound infection and amputation rates. This was achievable by having weekly rounds to monitor and treat wounds conducted by a Vohra physician at the bedside.
To successfully heal a diabetic foot ulcer, key factors must be implemented such as lowering blood sugar, having appropriate debridement of existing wounds, treating infections and reducing friction and pressure.
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Prediabetes is a serious health condition where blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. Approximately 84 million American adults—more than 1 out of 3—have prediabetes.
This is the time to act on lowering blood sugar levels and begin a healthier lifestyle. Here are several ways you can prevent type 2 diabetes:
- Exercise – Aim for about 30 minutes a day, at least five days a week of an activity of your choice. Aerobic exercises and strength training are ideal. Walking, using the stairs, and moving around throughout the day will also help.
- Follow a healthy diet plan – Making healthier choices by eating foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber can reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Visit here for more healthy food suggestions.
- Join a support program – Becoming informed by joining the National Diabetes Prevention Program, can help in knowing the do’s and don’ts and ensure the reversal of prediabetes.