Diabetes is a serious disease that can develop from lack of insulin production in the body or due to the inability of the body's insulin to perform its normal everyday functions. Insulin is a substance produced by the pancreas gland that helps process the food we eat and turn it into energy. Diabetes affects approximately 26 million adults and children in the USA and is classified into 2 different types: Type 1 and Type 2.Type 1 is usually associated with juvenile diabetes and is often linked to heredity. Type 2, commonly referred to as adult onset diabetes, is characterized by elevated blood sugars, often in people who are overweight or have not attended to their diet properly.
Come talk to our team about your diabetic needs – blood glucose monitoring meters, and test strips as well as insulin pens & syringes. We offer a large variety of Diabetic shoes in several top brands and well as shoe inserts that can be fitted by our certified shoe experts
Form test strips to insulins, our staff experts have everything you need to manage your Diabetes.
Our diabetic shoe fitting experts are happy to help properly fit and find the right pair of shoes for you. Learn more from each of our manufacturer brands.
Call Out: The Types of Diabetes
Type 1 and type 2 diabetes have different causes, yet two factors are important in both. You inherit a predisposition to the disease then something in your environment triggers it.
Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, and was previously known as juvenile diabetes. Only 5% of people with diabetes have this form of the disease.
In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life. With the help of insulin therapy and other treatments, even young children can learn to manage their condition and live long, healthy lives.
Type 2 Diabetes is a problem with your body that causes blood glucose (sugar) levels to rise higher than normal. This is also called hyperglycemia. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes.
If you have type 2 diabetes your body does not use insulin properly. This is called insulin resistance. At first, your pancreas makes extra insulin to make up for it. But, over time it isn't able to keep up and can't make enough insulin to keep your blood glucose at normal levels.
For more information visit: www.diabetes.org
Many complications can be associated with diabetes. Diabetes disrupts the vascular system, affecting many areas of the body such as the eyes, kidneys, legs, and feet. People with diabetes should pay special attention to their feet as well as the following conditions:
Heart disease and stroke - Adults with diabetes have heart disease death rates about 2 to 4 times higher than adults without diabetes. The risk for stroke is 2 to 4 times higher among people with diabetes.
High blood pressure – 67% of adults aged 20 years or older with self-reported diabetes have high blood pressure greater than or equal to 140/90 mmHg or used prescription medications for hypertension.
Blindness - Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults aged 20–74 years.
Kidney disease - Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, accounting for 44% of new cases in 2008.
Amputation - More than 60% of non-traumatic lower-limb amputations occur in people with diabetes.
Nervous system disease (Neuropathy) - About 60% to 70% of people with diabetes have mild to severe forms of nervous system damage.
The Diabetic Foot
Of the 26 million Americans with diabetes, 25% will develop foot problems related to the disease. Diabetic foot conditions develop from a combination of causes including poor circulation and neuropathy. Diabetic Neuropathy can cause insensitivity or a loss of ability to feel pain, heat, and cold. Diabetics suffering from neuropathy can develop minor cuts, scrapes, blisters, or pressure sores that they may not be aware of due to the insensitivity. If these minor injuries are left untreated, complications may result and lead to ulceration and possibly even amputation. Neuropathy can also cause deformities such as Bunions, Hammer Toes, and Charcot Feet. It is very important for diabetics to take the necessary precautions to prevent all foot related injuries. Due to the consequences of neuropathy, daily observation of the feet is critical. When a diabetic patient takes the necessary preventative footcare measures, he or she reduces the risks of serious foot conditions.
Diabetes often leads to peripheral vascular disease that inhibits a person's blood circulation. With this condition, there is a narrowing of the arteries that frequently leads to significantly decreased circulation in the lower part of the legs and the feet. Poor circulation contributes to diabetic foot problems by reducing the amount of oxygen and nutrition supplied to the skin and other tissue, causing injuries to heal poorly. Poor circulation can also lead to swelling and dryness of the foot. Preventing foot complications is more critical for the diabetic patient because poor circulation impairs the healing process and can lead to ulcers, infection, and other serious foot conditions.
Treatment and Prevention
Footwear and orthotics play an important role in diabetic footcare. Orthotics designed with Plastazote foam, the #1 material for protecting the insensitive diabetic foot, are usually recommended. Plastazote is a material designed to accommodate pressure "hot spots" by conforming to heat and pressure. By customizing to the foot, Plastazote provides the comfort and protection needed in diabetic footcare. Footwear constructed with Plastazote is also recommended frequently for the diabetic patient. Diabetic footwear should also provide the following protective benefits:
High, wide toe box (high and wide space in the toe area)
Removable insoles for fitting flexibility and the option to insert orthotics if necessary.
Rocker Soles designed to reduce pressure in the areas of the foot most susceptible to pain, most notably the ball-of-the-foot.
Firm Heel Counters for support and stability.
If you are a diabetic, you should be particularly alert to any problems you may be having with your feet. It is very important for diabetics with neuropathy to take necessary precautions to prevent injury and keep their feet healthy. If you have diabetes and are experiencing a foot problem, immediately consult your foot doctor.
Proper footcare is especially critical for diabetics because they are prone to foot problems such as:
Loss of feeling in their feet
Changes in the shape of their feet
Foot ulcers or sores that do not heal
Simple daily footcare can prevent serious problems. According to the National Institute of Health, the following simple everyday steps will help prevent serious complications from diabetes:
1. Take Care of Your Diabetes
Make healthy lifestyle choices to keep your blood sugar close to normal. Work with your health care team to create a diabetes plan that fits your lifestyle characteristics.
2. Check Your Feet Every Day
You may have foot problems that you may not be aware of. Check your feet for cuts, sores, red spots, swelling, or infected toenails. Checking your feet should become part of your daily routine. If you have trouble bending over to see your feet, use a plastic mirror to help. You can also ask a family member to help you. Important Reminder: Be sure to call your doctor immediately if a cut, sore, blister, or bruise on your foot does not heal after one day.
3. Wash Your Feet Every Day
Wash your feet in warm, NOT HOT, water. Do not soak your feet because your skin will get dry. Before bathing or showering, test the water to make sure it is not too hot. You should use a thermometer or your elbow. Dry your feet well. Be sure to dry between your toes. Use talcum powder to keep the skin dry between the toes.
4. Keep the Skin Soft and Smooth
Rub a thin coat of skin lotion or cream on the tops and bottoms of the feet. Do not put lotion between your toes, because this might cause infection.
5. Wear Shoes and Socks At All Times
Wear shoes and socks at all times. Do not walk barefoot, not even indoors. It is extremely easy to step on something and hurt your feet. Always wear seamless socks, stockings, and nylons with your shoes to help avoid the possibility of blisters and sores developing. Be sure to choose seamless socks that are made of materials that wick moisture away from your feet and absorb shock and shear. Socks made of these materials help keep your feet dry. Always check the insides of your shoes before putting them on.
Make sure the lining is smooth and there are no foreign objects in the shoe, such as pebbles. Wear shoes that fit well and protect your feet.
6. Protect Your Feet From Hot and Cold
Always wear shoes at the beach or on hot pavement. Put sunscreen on the tops of your feet for protection from the sun. Keep your feet away from radiators or open fires. DO NOT use hot water bottle or heating pads on your feet. If your feet are cold, wear seamless socks at night. Lined boots are good to keep your feet warm in the winter. Choose socks carefully. DO NOT wear socks with seams or bumpy areas. Choose padded socks to protect your feet and make walking more comfortable. In cold weather, check your feet often to keep your feet warm avoid frostbite.
7. Keep the Blood Flowing to Your Feet
Put your feet up when you are sitting. Wiggle your toes for 5 minutes, 2 or 3 times a day. Move your ankles up and down and in and out to improve blood flow in your feet and legs.
DO NOT cross your legs for long periods of time.
DO NOT wear tight socks, elastic, or rubber bands, or garters around your legs.
DO NOT wear restrictive footwear or foot products. Foot products that can cut off circulation to the feet, such as products with elastic, should not be worn by diabetics.
DO NOT smoke. Smoking reduces blood flow to your feet. If you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, work with your health care team to lower it.
8. Be More Active
Ask your doctor to plan an exercise program that is right for you. Walking, dancing, swimming, and bicycling are good forms of exercise that are easy on the feet. Avoid all activities that are hard on the feet, such as running and jumping. Always include a short warm-up or cool-down period. Wear protective walking or athletic shoes that fit well and offer good support.
9. Communicate With Your Doctor
Ask your doctor to check the sense of feeling and pulses in your feet at least once a year. Ask your doctor to tell you immediately if you have serious foot problems. Ask your doctor for proper footcare tips and for the name of your local podiatrist.
Statistics About Diabetes
Total prevalence of diabetes
Total: 25.8 million children and adults in the United States—8.3% of the population—have diabetes.
Diagnosed: 18.8 million people
Undiagnosed: 7.0 million people
New Cases: 1.9 million new cases of diabetes are diagnosed in people aged 20 years and older in 2010.
Under 20 years of age - 215,000, or 0.26% of all people in this age group have diabetes
About 1 in every 400 children and adolescents has diabetes
Age 20 years or older - 25.6 million, or 11.3% of all people in this age group have diabetes
Age 65 years or older - 10.9 million, or 26.9% of all people in this age group have diabetes
Men - 13.0 million, or 11.8% of all men aged 20 years or older have diabetes
Women - 12.6 million, or 10.8% of all women aged 20 years or older have diabetes
Race and ethnic differences in prevalence of diagnosed diabetes
After adjusting for population age differences, 2007-2009 national survey data for people diagnosed with diabetes, aged 20 years or older include the following prevalence by race/ethnicity:
7.1% of non-Hispanic whites
8.4% of Asian Americans
12.6% of non-Hispanic blacks
11.8% of Hispanics
Morbidity and Mortality
In 2007, diabetes was listed as the underlying cause on 71,382 death certificates and was listed as a contributing factor on an additional 160,022 death certificates. This means that diabetes contributed to a total of 231,404 deaths.
These statistics and additional information can be found in the National Diabetes Fact Sheet, 2011, the most recent comprehensive assessment of the impact of diabetes in the United States, jointly produced by the CDC, NIH, ADA, and other organizations. All data is from the 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet (released Jan. 26, 2011).
The American Diabetes Association estimates that the total national cost of diagnosed diabetes in the United States is $245 billion.
Genetics of Diabetes - You've probably wondered how you developed diabetes. You may worry that your children will develop it too.
Unlike some traits, diabetes does not seem to be inherited in a simple pattern. Yet clearly, some people are born more likely to develop diabetes than others.