Diabetes is a chronic disease in which there are high levels of sugar in the blood. There are three major types of diabetes:
Type 1 diabetes can occur at any age, but it is most often diagnosed in children, teens, or young adults. In this disease, the body makes little or no insulin. Daily injections of insulin are needed. The exact cause is unknown.
Type 2 diabetes makes up most of diabetes cases. It most often occurs in adulthood, but teens and young adults are now being diagnosed with it because of high obesity rates. Many people with type 2 diabetes do not know they have it.
Gestational diabetes is high blood sugar that develops at any time during pregnancy in a woman who does not have diabetes.
Diabetes affects both the circulation and the nerves in the extremities — especially the feet. In diabetics with poor circulation, even a small nick or an ingrown toenail can lead to serious health problems. And a lack of sensation in the feet from nerve damage means the client may not even feel an injury when it occurs, leaving them vulnerable to serious injury. Diabetics are also more prone to certain bacterial and fungal infections of the skin and nails. Foot ulcers, especially over the ball of the foot or on the bottom of the big toe, also are common.