Diabetes has become an epidemic in our country and the Panama City area is no exception. For patients who have been diagnosed with diabetes, there is a way to manage your condition and possibly prevent the many complications associated with diabetes. Diabetics need medical supervision, along with education in the areas of self-care management, nutrition, exercise, medication, and developing a positive attitude. These are all important components in the successful treatment of diabetes.
It is essential that people with diabetes manage their disease because it can lead to the following complications.
Nerve Problems — Diabetic neuropathy is damage to the nerves that run throughout the body to muscles, skin and other organs. Damage can affect motor, sensory and autonomic functions and cause numbness, pain or weakness in the affected area.
Eye Disease and Blindness — Diabetes can cause retina disorders, such as diabetic retinopathy, which could lead to blindness. People with diabetes are also more likely to develop glaucoma and cataracts and should have annual eye exams.
Cardiovascular Disease — People with diabetes have an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Cardiovascular disease causes about 65 percent of deaths among diabetics, but it can be prevented by controlling blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Kidney Disease — Kidneys filter waste and impurities from the blood. High blood pressure and high blood sugar can damage the kidneys’ ability to function and cause them to fail.
Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD) — Similar to cardiovascular disease, PVD is caused by the build-up of plaque (excessive fat and cholesterol) in the arteries of the legs. Decreased blood flow can cause complications, such as slow healing wounds, which can lead to amputations.
Foot Problems — Decreased blood flow from poor circulation or decreased sensation due to nerve damage can cause serious foot problems. People with diabetes may develop sores that heal slowly and are prone to infection. Bay Medical offers a convenient Wound Healing Center with physician supervised assistance in treating your infection. For some hard-to-heal wounds, hyperbaric oxygen therapy is also available.
If you are experiencing any of the above conditions, Bay Medical can help. Please call our physician referral line at 850-747-6100 or visit our physician directory to find a specialist. See the Additional Services page in this section for more information.