Statistics from the American Diabetes Association shows that in 2015, 30.3 million Americans or 9.4% of the population of the US has Diabetes. There are 1.5 million Americans newly diagnosed every year, and diabetes remains the 7th leading cause of death in 2015 in the United States.
Diabetes affects the entire body including skin, nerves, blood vessels, and the musculoskeletal system. The foot is often affected by diabetes resulting in neuropathy (decreased or increased sensations), poor circulation, skin dryness, calluses, foot deformities, and non-healing wounds.
After being diagnosed with diabetes, it is important to be seen by a podiatrist who can evaluate your foot and explain any risks that are present. Overall, there are three main things that are very important for patients with diabetes to know about their lower extremity health.
- Blood Glucose Control: The best way to protect your foot is to keep your blood sugar in a healthy range. Elevated blood glucose (sugar) levels will negatively affect the nerves, skin, and vasculature resulting in diabetic foot complications.
- Always wear supportive shoes: When you are on your feet, your shoes should be on. Even when you are at home. It is important that your shoes completely cover your feet, are supportive, and fit properly. Your shoes are the first barrier from injuries that may not easily heal.
- Inspect your feet daily: Evaluate your feet everyday to look for cuts, bumps, blisters, and calluses. For those patients with neuropathic feet, it is important to remember that you do not feel pain caused by the aforementioned items. Therefore, only a visual exam will notify you of any problems so that you can seek help right away.
If you are diabetic or have been recently diagnosed as diabetic, It is important to be evaluated by a podiatrist to discuss how diabetes can affect your feet and what you can do for preventative care. At PACI we offer complete foot and ankle care for all diabetic foot needs including but not limited to: nail care, wound care, and custom diabetic shoes. If you have any questions, please call our office at 513-474-4450 for an appointment.
By: Laura Bohman, DPM, AACFASLeave a reply