Freeman Medical Focus — National Diabetes Awareness Month

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JOPLIN, Mo. — We’re just a couple of days away from National Diabetes Awareness Month.

It’s a chance to evaluate your risk factors – and figure out what steps to take to stay healthy.

Susan Pittman, Diabetes Ed., said, “We’re seeing a higher prevalence of diabetes and Missouri is a state that has a lot of diabetes. So we definitely want our population to be aware to get screened for diabetes.”

There are lots of options to help stay healthy. Your physician will check bloodwork. But you also play a role. That includes a yearly retinal exam with your eye doctor.

“Retinal bleeds and that can lead to blindness – but if we’re having an exam every year, the doctor can see even the most small bleeds that could start. And be able to stop those from becoming larger bleeds.”

You also should check your feet every day. A tiny cut can lead to a big problem.

“When we have diabetes, we get infection. That can spread very, very quickly. So what we want people to do every single day is just a visual exam of their foot.”

Check for redness, cracks, open areas and blisters. If you find a significant issue, contact your doctor.

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