REVIEWS OF DR. SCHULER
What is Diabetes explains Dr. Burton S. Schuler, foot doctor
As most foot doctor, podiatirst I treat patients daily with diabetes in my offfice in Panama City Fl.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a malfunction in the way our body digests food for growth and energy. It is a serious, life-long disorder that is as yet incurable. In the non-diabetic, a chemical called glucose (sugar) is formed when the food we eat is broken down by the digestive system. After the glucose is formed, it goes into our blood where our body uses it to supply our cells for energy and growth. In order for this to occur, a hormone called Insulin, which is made by the pancreas, must be present.
In people who don’t have diabetes, the pancreas will produce the proper level of insulin so glucose can properly be absorbed by our body. In people with diabetes, not enough insulin, if any, is produced by the beta cells of the pancreas; or the body refuses to respond to the insulin that is made. Because of this, in the diabetic, glucose is not absorbed properly by the cells and then accumulates in the blood. The start of diabetes is when the glucose abnormally builds up in the blood and is not absorbed properly by the body. If that is allowed to occur uncontrolled for a long period of time, we get the long-term Complications associated with diabetes that affect almost every major part of the body. It can cause blindness, heart disease, strokes, kidney failure, amputations, nerve damage, and birth defects in babies born to women with diabetes. Its most common symptoms are excessive thirst, blurred vision, fatigue, frequent urination, unexplained weight loss, changes in appetite, irritability, itchy skin, sweet-smelling breath, slow healing of cuts, nausea, vomiting and severe abdominal pain.
Ignoring the symptoms of diabetes can lead to a variety of other health complications, including blindness, amputations, heart attacks and kidney disease. Although diabetes occurs most often in older adults, it is one of the most common chronic disorders in children. Diabetes can develop in people of any age or ethnic background, although some groups appear to be at higher risk for certain types of diabetes. It occurs almost equally among males and females, and it is more common in the white, non-Hispanic population. For some unknown reasons several northern European countries, including Finland and Sweden, have very high rates of diabetes.
According to the American Diabetes Association in their book DIABETES 1996 VITAL STATISTICS, we know the following facts about Diabetes.
* About 16 million people in the United States in 1994 were projected to have diabetes mellitus or about 6% of the population.
* Each year, 500,000 to 700,000 people are diagnosed with diabetes.
* Almost half of these people do not know they have diabetes and are not under medical care.
* Each year, 11,000 to 12,000 children and teenagers are diagnosed with diabetes.
* In terms of medical care, treatment supplies, hospitalizations, time lost from work, disability payments, and premature death, diabetes cost this country $92 billion in 1992, which was the last year records were available.
* In 1993 4.2 million women and 3.6 million men were diagnosed with diabetes.
* Native Americans have the highest rates of diabetes in the world, upwards of 50% of their population.
* Approximately 9.6% of African Americans have diabetes.
* Approximately 6.2 % of White Americans have diabetes.
* It was the seventh leading cause of death listed on U.S. death certificates in 1993: 385,000 died in 1993, who had diabetes; 169,000 deaths were directly related to having diabetes or its complication