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  The Minority/ Black Health Blog  

Monday, September 14, 2015

60% of Diabetics Also Get This Disease -- Are You at Risk?

Black woman with diabetes shocked

African Americans are 1.7 times more likely to have diabetes as whites and have a significantly higher risk from diabetes-related blindness, kidney disease and amputations, according to the American Diabetes Association. For African Americans diagnosed with diabetes, one of their biggest concerns is losing their limbs due to a diabetes-related condition called Peripheral Artery Disease.

What is peripheral artery disease?

Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) is nerve damage, or neuropathy, caused by diabetes. About 60 percent of diabetics develop PAD. It affects the nerves in the feet and legs, causing the limbs to lose sensation and often leads to amputation. The symptoms include cramps and pain in the lower extremities, particularly the legs and feet. Symptoms will occur while climbing stairs or walking.

How to decrease the risk

People diagnosed with diabetes can decrease the risk of developing PAD by taking some health precautions. These include:
  • Stop smoking - smoking increases the risk among diabetics to develop PAD
  • Control blood pressure - high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels also increase the risk of developing PAD
  • Exercise and eat healthy - avoid foods that are high in saturated fat and cholesterol
Taking steps to stay healthy will greatly decrease the chances of developing PAD. Preventing PAD is extremely important; the loss of blood flow and nerve damage not only causes more injuries but also hinders wound healing and can lead to amputation.

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DISCLAIMER: The content or opinions expressed on this web site are not to be interpreted as medical advice. Please consult with your doctor or medical practitioner before utilizing any suggestions on this web site.