The Diabetic Patient

Like many common diseases, diabetes is caused by a combination of multiple environmental and genetic risk factors. The exact set of environmental and genetic factors that causes diabetes in any one individual is usually not known.

Infection by certain viruses has been implicated as triggering the autoimmune reaction that causes disease in individuals with genetic susceptibility.

Risk factors that are entirely or partially environmental have been implicated in NIDDM. These include obesity, low physical activity, poor dietary habits and alcohol and tobacco use. Cardiovascular risk factors increased cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as others also increase the chance for NIIDM to develop.

Heredity is also a genetic component causing this disease.

IDDM also know as Insulin-Dependent
Diabetes Mellitus, is the most common form of diabetes. Shots of insulin are necessary on a daily basis. IDDM is thought to be an autoimmune condition in which one's own immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas. Insulin production is low or absent, and onset is generally in childhood or early adulthood.

NIDDM, the most common type of diabetes,
Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus, is the milder form of diabetes. Symptoms can generally be controlled with diet or oral medications that decrease blood sugar levels.

Usually there is plenty of insulin available, but the cells are not sensitive to insulin's effects which results in the inability of insulin to move glucose to the inside of cells where it can be used. NIDDM typically develops after age 40, although it can occur at any age.

Gestational Diabetes also referred to as Diabetes of Pregnancy, is often limited to the time during which a woman is pregnant. Management of glucose levels in affected women during pregnancy is very important, because high glucose levels can have serious, negative effects on the developing fetus. Gestational diabetes usually disappears after delivery.

Products lines available for the Diabetic Customers:

Diabetic Monitors & Supplies
Diabetic Shoes
Diabetic Socks
Diabetic Skin Care
Blood Pressure Monitors

Diabetic Monitors and supplies are a covered benefit through insurance as long as a physician has prescribed this to assist in monitoring their blood sugar levels and they have a diagnosis of either NIIDM, IIDM or Gestational Diabetes.

The physician will recommend to the patient how many times a day they should check.

Most insurances will cover a certain quantity of strips and lancets per month.

There are many different types of Diabetic Monitors to choose from. Most often a patient's Diabetic Educator will recommend the type that is most beneficial for the patient to utilize. A McLaren Home Medical employee will due a complete teaching of the Diabetic Monitor to make sure you are well educated in the use or your Diabetic Monitor.

How Does Diabetes Affect Your Feet?

Poor Blood Flow
Minor foot problems like bunions, blisters, cracked skin, corns and callusses are slow to heal or don't heal properly due to poor blood flow. Open sores and/or infections can result.

Nerve Damage (Diabetic Neuropathy)
Damaged nerves result in numbness and a reduced ability to feel pain, raising the potential for undetected foot problems (cuts, blisters, cracked skin, corns and calluses) to become infected.

Foot Care Tips from the American Diabetes Association:

  • Look at and touch your feet everyday
  • Keep your feet clean and dry
  • Cut or file toenails with the shape of the toe, smoothing all sharp edges
  • Moisturize dry skin with a lotion
  • Avoid injury to the feet. Have corns, calluses or ingrown toenails treated by a professional
  • Wear well-fitting, soft leather or fabric shoes 
  • Check shoes daily for cracks, pebbles, or other things that might damage your feet.
  • Get your blood glucose under control 
  • Wear well-fitting socks, without a thick toe seam, made of materials that wick moisture away from skin

A McLaren Home Medical Medical Supply employee will instruct and fit the Diabetic patient with a pair of Aetrex Diabetic/Therapeutic Shoes when prescribed by a physician. 

Jobst Sensifoot Socks for the Diabetic Foot are available at McLaren Home Medical Medical Supplies.

  • Sensifoot Features & Benefits
  • Non-irritating, smooth toe seam
  • Extra padding in the foot, heel and toe
  • Acrylic multi-fiber yarns that wick away moisture
  • Antibacterial Antifungal finish that inhibits growth of bacteria and fungi to help prevent odor
  • Non-constricting, mild compress helps keep sock in place to prevent sliding and bunching
  • Available in mini-crew, crew and knee lengths
  • Available in white, navy and brown
  • Not a covered benefit through insurance

Skin Therapy for the Diabetic Patient

People with diabetes, for reasons that are not yet totally understood, are far more likely to develop skin complications. Once these problems set in, they can have serious consequences, including surgical tissue removal and amputation, if they are not cared for properly.

We believe the root of diabetic skin problems lies in the narrowing of the small blood vessels near the skin. These vessels protect and nourish the skin of non-diabetics, but in people with diabetes, they become constricted and may even become completely clogged through the years.

This restricted blood supply delays healing and increases the chances of infection. The tissues dry up and gangrene can set in.

High glucose levels are probably the strongest contributing factor to neuropathy and poor circulation. This can result in dry, infection-prone skin.

Products are available to help in the prevention of infections. Diabet-X Products that are available at McLaren Home Medical    Diabet-X products contains Urea*what is Urea?

Urea is a good moisturizer that binds water to the skin. It also loosens rough skin. It can exfoliate dry, callused tissue and stimulate new skin growth.

Cardiac and Hypertension risks

The risk or cardiac problems as well as hypertension is common in the diabetic patient. Increased blood pressure is not commonly thought of as a side effect with the diabetes but certainly is a risk. We can recommend to the diabetic patient that monitoring their blood pressure is important. We can show them a display of our manual and digital blood pressure units and stethascopes. Explain the benefit of one over another and let them decide what is best for them.

Summary of the Diabetic Patient and their needs.

The needs of the diabetic patient may differ. It is very important to explain the benefit of each of the diabetic products we offer.

A patient may come in for a diabetic monitor and supplies and not be aware that diabetic shoes, socks and skin care exist for their disease process. It is important to educate them on what is available to them and what is a covered benefit through their insurance.

Awareness of the signs and symptoms that they suffer from and how our Diabetic Product lines will benefit them is important to them, their physician and us. This will guide them to becoming a compliant patient who is educated about their disease process.