Diabetes can affect any part of the body. In the eye diabetes unchecked can cause blindness. In the heart, it is possible to get heart failure and in the kidneys, the result could be kidney failure.
"Because blood flows everywhere every tissue in the body can be destroyed by diabetes," said Dr. Gina Gray, the Medical Director of the Wound Care Center at the Texas Diabetes Institute with University Health System.
Dr. Gray said that includes your skin. She said too much glucose is the enemy which breaks down the skin.
"If the skin has broken down and you cannot readily access the cells that are fighting infection, or that rebuild the area of the skin that is broken down, then you get a wound that doesn't heal," Dr. Gray said.
That is especially the case if you don't know the wound is there.
"Pimples or an abscess that are hiding infection are painful. People who have these kinds of infections usually run screaming to their doctor or to an emergency room to get help because it does hurt so much," Dr. Gray added.
In 2010 alone the CDC said 73,000 adults with diabetes had to have a leg or foot amputated. Amputations in those with diabetes account for 60 percent of those types of amputations not resulting from injuries like a car crash.
Those over 45 years of age with diabetes are also ten times a likely to lose a leg or foot than those younger than 45.
"If you've just been diagnosed, or you were diagnosed 50 yeas ago, take it seriously," Dr. Gray said.
In next week's Real Men Wear Gowns, 48-year-old type-2 diabetic Carlos Garcia tells KENS 5 how a simple wound for most can be life-threatening to him because of his diabetes.
"I got one on the back of my head that started off as I guess like a little pimple that turned into the size of an apple or softball. If you are not keeping your sugars where they need to be that's going to happen," Garcia said.
For more men's health information, call 210-358-3045.
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