It’s American Diabetes Month. At North Jersey Podiatry, educating our patients about conditions that can affect the health of your feet is one of our top priorities. Take the true/false quiz below to see how much you know about this disease and what you need to do to protect yourself.

Diabetes isn’t as serious as other diseases and health issues.

False: Diabetes affects over 30.3 million Americans. It is the 7thleading cause of death in our country, taking more people than AIDS and breast cancer combined. In addition, having diabetes greatly increases your risk for other health problems such as heart attack, kidney failure, depression and more. Fortunately, however, diabetes can be managed and there are steps you can take to lower your risk.

Diabetes is caused by eating too much sugar.

False: Although diabetes is a disease the causes your blood sugar levels to rise, it is not caused by consuming sugar. Being overweight, however, is one risk factor associated with the disease. Again, it doesn’t cause diabetes but maintaining a healthy weight and eating a diet that is based on lean protein, non-starchy vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and fruits is one way to lower your risk for diabetes. Sugar and sweets should only be eaten on special occasions and in small amounts (and that goes for everyone!)

Diabetes strikes people of all races and ethnicities equally.

False: Diabetes does discriminate. Asians, Hispanics, African Americans, American Indians, and Alaskan Natives have a higher rate of being diagnosed with diabetes than people from other ethnic backgrounds.

If you have diabetes, you need to take special precautions for your feet.

True: Nerve damage that can lead to loss of sensation in the feet is often associated with diabetes. This increases the likelihood of injury and infection to the feet which may go undetected for a long time due to lack of feeling. For this reason, it’s important that diabetic patients inspect their feet regularly and report any blisters, redness, bruising, cuts or sores or unusual changes in color or shape of the feet to our podiatrist, Dr. Paul G. Klein, as soon as they are found. Other foot care tips for diabetics include:

●     Keeping feet dry

●     Washing daily with mild soap and warm water

●     Avoiding exposing feet to direct heat sources or using electric blankets on them

●     Wearing shoes both at home and in public places such as community pools and gyms

Have more questions? Contact our Wayne, New Jersey office by calling: (973) 595-1555.