Sunday, July 24, 2011

Killer Lemonade

Everyone enjoys a nice cold glass of lemonade in the summers, especially with our heat lately. Recently, a friend of mine went through a local fast food drive thru and ordered sugar free lemonade. She is diabetic and is very careful with her daily sugar intake to keep her glucose levels in check. She took 2 sips and knew it was a little too sweet. So she pulled out her tester to see what the sugar level was and it read over 400! Had she assumed it was just a really good tasting sugar free drink, she was have ended up in a coma! So when she spoke with the restaurant manager they couldn't understand why she was so upset. Their offer for a free replacement they thought should have been enough. She tried to explain the problem and got "I don't understand what the problem is"!!!!!


So if you are reading this and you don't understand the problem, let me fill you in. If you are diabetic, sugar is not your friend! Especially excess amounts. Your body does not have a good way of processing that sugar. And excess sugar in the system causes harm to all vital organs. When that sugar gets to a certain high level, you can become groggy, light headed, feel faint and possibly end up in a coma or worse.

Now, let's say you don't end up in a coma, but you thoroughly enjoy that lemonade and you happen to have an open sore on your foot. Well, bacteria love sugar so basically you just gave them a meal of a lifetime! This causes more bacteria to grow leading to infection that could lead to a hospital stay, surgery or even amputation.

Wow! All that from a simple lemonade! Well, lesson here is to always ask for diet. And if you aren't sure about it, return and just get water. At least with water, you never have to worry about the sugar or calorie content!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Don't Step on That!!

It's 104 degrees in the shade in Dallas Texas these days. That makes our surrounding surfaces quite hot. In fact, it's about time for one of our local news crews to cook an egg on the sidewalk. So if it's hot enough to make a "smothered and covered" on the sidewalk, then you have absolutely no need to walk barefoot to check the mail if you are diabetic (and even if you aren't).

When diabetic patients lose the feeling in their feet, they often think it is ok to walk around barefoot. "It's ok, I can't feel it anyway". That's not the case. I will see time and again in the summers, diabetic patients who walk barefoot on sidewalks or concrete for just a few steps that cause 3 degree burns to those precious feet.

Now as I've discussed in previous blogs, any open wound can cause infection that leads to amputation. Burns are among the worst. Most of the time they do get infected. And if they are extensive, meaning covering the majority of the foot, that is high alert for amputation. And I'm not talking taking off a toe or two, the whole leg. Just for walking barefoot.

If this does happen to you, seek treatment immediately. The wounds need to be cleansed properly and antibiotics started right away. And a good wound care regimen is necessary to heal those wounds.

Be smart when it's hot. Wear your shoes!