Trick Or Treat, Take Care of Your Feet!

Halloween can be a rough time of year for children with diabetes as well as for parents trying to keep their kids healthy.  Several Columbus area dentists and doctors have made efforts to give more options to keep Halloween healthy and fun for diabetic kids.  A local dentist’s office has offered to buy candy from kids after Halloween for $1 per pound to then be donated to Operation Gratitude which then gives the candy to troops overseas.

Type 2 diabetes typically develops later in life than type I diabetes, but is becoming more common in children.  This increase in diabetes in kids has been linked to the increase in childhood obesity.  While type 2 diabetes has a genetic component, individuals who are overweight or do not exercise are at a greatly increased risk of developing the disease.  In this sense, while walking house to house may provide good exercise for kids, the excessive consumption of candy should be avoided.

People with both types of diabetes often develop nervous system disease with loss of sensation in their foot.   When sensation is lost in the foot, people may develop injuries without being able to feel any pain and continue to cause further damage to their tissues.  This is why it is critical for diabetic patients perform regular self-foot exams and have complete checkups with their podiatrist.  These areas where sensation is lost are typically where ulcers develop and can lead to amputation.

While diabetic ulcers are not often seen in children’s feet, it is important to take preventative measures to avoid serious diabetic disease changes that increase the risk of ulcers later in life.   One good preventative measure to start with during the Halloween season is to avoid excessive sugar consumption.  The more extremely elevated, or uncontrolled a diabetic individual’s blood sugar is, the higher their “HbA1C” values are.  The HbA1C indicates an excess amount of sugar that gets “stuck” to hemoglobin, the molecule that transports oxygen to tissues.  When the HbA1C is elevated, there is a much higher risk of developing problems with blood vessels, leading to diseases including high blood pressure and problems with the retina of the eye.   By not eating too much sugar and getting a lot of exercise at Halloween and all year, kids with and without diabetes will be sure to have a scary good time keeping their feet healthy!

Please visit www.ColumbusFoot.com for more information or call 614-885 FEET (3338) to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus Podiatry & Surgery is located on the North side of Columbus, Ohio near Worthington. If you would like to see a podiatrist in Dublin, Ohio near Tuttle Crossing, call 614-885-3338 for an appointment.

By Dr. Animesh (Andy) Bhatia