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In an earlier article I wrote that diabetes is a disease that creeps up on you and before you know it, a person can be diagnosed with diabetes at quite a late stage. I had suggested that those in the high-risk group of getting diabetes should be prudent and look through their family history to find out whether any of their relations have or had this disease. Should any of their close relatives have diabetes, then the risk for that person had gone up higher than a person who does not have any relations who do not have diabetes. This is due to the fact that diabetes is a hereditary disease. I shall talk about other ways whereby a person can get diabetes in another article.
In this article and other follow-up articles, I shall highlight the dangers of diabetes if left untreated and the possible consequences that may result. I know because I had first hand experience of it as I had seen both my parents and three of my aunts and an uncle suffered from diabetes as well as myself. I am not sure about others but even though I knew that I am in the high-risk group, I refused to believe until I was diagnosed as diabetic. I had early warning signs but failed to take precautions to avoid it.
Recently, while looking for more information on diabetes, I came across an article “Long-term consequences of diabetes” by Chris D. Meletis (see Townsend Letter. May 2009 i310 p54(7)). The article estimated that 23.6 million people in the United States are diabetic. However, what is scary is that there are another 5.7 million people out there who are not diagnosed even though they are in the higher risk group of getting diabetes. This is only for the United States but what about other countries? What are the likely consequences that these people are likely to face when their conditions are left untreated? This also serves as a warning to those who are already diagnosed as diabetic but for reasons known to them, refuse to follow-up with the necessary treatment.
So what are the possible consequences should one ignore their diabetic condition? Firstly, a diabetic has to be aware of what diabetes can do to a person's legs and feet, as it will affect their mobility. Should there be any wound or injury on the legs or feet, do not think that it can heal by itself. Even if you should self-medicate, my advice is to be careful. Or if there is a small wound, do not even think that it can be ignored. It takes a long time for an injury or wound to heal for a diabetic, no matter how small the wound or injury is. I strongly suggest that medical help be sought immediately. Seek professional medical advice and do not self-medicate unless medical help is not available. But once medical help is available, ensure that you inform the medical professional of your wound or injury.
Like I had said, wounds and injuries on a diabetic takes a longer time to heal. If not properly taken care of, the condition may worsen and the consequence is possible amputation. In one of my articles, I had mentioned that my late aunt did not take care of her leg that resulted in an amputation. Nearer home, my own mother, who was also diabetic, had a small ulcer (wound) on her ankle. We know the danger of an ulcer and brought her to see a doctor. However, the ulcer just got bigger and refused to heal properly, even with medical help. She had the ulcer for almost 2-months before her death. So be careful and do not dismiss any wounds, no matter how slight it may seem to you. Take good care of your feet and legs, as they are valuable to you and allow you to be mobile. Don't live with regret; take care of your feet and legs now.
To care for your feet make sure that you have proper footwear. Also, wear padded socks to protect it further. As for your legs, wear pants to protect them. In other words, be properly attired to ensure protection for both your legs and feet.
Another measure is to check the sole of your feet, if possible, every night. What to look for? Ensure there are no cracked heels as it can possibly lead to small wounds that may go unnoticed. Use a good cream to repair the cracked heels. Also look out for any signs of wounds. If you are not able to examine it closely, have someone check it for you. This is one of the simplest self-check that you can do. Do not let laziness prevent you from carrying out this check. You will be thankful that you had done it as you can detect problems early and seek medical attention. To obtain more information on diabetes, please visit