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Tennesseans at Risk: Limb Loss and Complications Due to Diabetes

Diabetes and healing from auto accident injuries

Diabetes Accident Recovery

Photo Credit: PerPlex [Public Domain]

At Stillman and Friedland, we are dedicated to helping our fellow Tennesseans. We research topics that are relevant to you, our client base, as citizens of the Volunteer State.

One topic we have previously discussed is the rising rate of diabetes in the U.S. and in Tennessee, in particular. Did you know that if you are diabetic, your diabetes can affect your recovery after an accident? In this post, we will look how you can prevent or manage this condition and why diabetes is an important component of both your financial and physical recovery.

Currently, diabetes rates in Tennessee are nearly the highest in the United States. Tennessee rates are second in the U.S. for diabetes according to the latest available statistics. As diabetes rates have continued to rise, so have high blood pressure, cancer, and limb amputations due to complications from this disease.

Minorities are the highest at-risk group for diabetes/circulatory disorders that lead to amputation. If you have a diabetes-related foot ulcer and do not treat and resolve this problem, you are likely to undergo a limb amputation within five years. Many minority individuals earn a living in jobs which require physical activity, and the loss of a leg means they are no longer able to work and may even qualify for social security disability benefits.

If you suffer an injury which leaves you incapacitated and unable to exercise, you are more likely to suffer the ill-effects of diabetes whether you are diabetic or pre-diabetic. Additionally, having diabetes can slow or complicate your accident recovery, increasing pain and suffering in the process. These are some of the points your attorney should consider when preparing your case if diabetes has accelerated and caused additional problems during your recovery.

As readers of this blog know, Stillman and Friedland would prefer to see fewer cases where prevention can eliminate or reduce dangerous accidents, and the same is true for illness. That is why we advocate for safe driving and better lifestyle habits.

With prevention in mind, what can you do to prevent loss of limb and life if you have Type II diabetes? Keeping in mind that according to the Amputees Coalition, 60% of limb loss is preventable, here are a few simple steps you can take to stay healthy and whole:

Change your Diet. In a nutshell, diabetes is your body’s failing capability to metabolize carbohydrates. Remove sugars and starches from your diet and you don’t have to be diabetic. Period. Work with a sympathetic doctor who understands that this is a better approach than using expensive medications that are a band-aid approach and do not solve your problem.

Quit Smoking. Smoking worsens your vascular health, and slows healing in a number of ways. As one example, surgeons often refuse to perform back surgery on smokers due to poor healing response.

Get Moderate Exercise. This will improve your circulation and your metabolism. You don’t need to run marathons. Just increase your activity by walking more. If the weather is bad, go mall walking. Start modestly and increase your activity over time. Taking a spouse or supportive friend along will help you to keep going and pass the time much quicker.

Most importantly, if you have a foot ulcer, it is imperative to get it treated and managed by a medical professional. Remember that improving your overall health through diet modification is the key way to keep this problem from recurring. Amputation is a sign of the failure to treat diabetes; subsequent amputation usually means high mortality rates for amputees.

This is another reason why Stillman and Friedland are doing our best to give you information that will help you live a healthy, productive, and rewarding life.

Because we care…

Jay Stillman
Personal Injury Attorney

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(615) 244-2111