November is Diabetes Awareness Month. We would like to use this opportunity to educate people on the foot complications that can occur in people with diabetes, and what steps you need to take to avoid them.
First, some sobering thoughts…
- 25.8 million people in this country have diabetes
- Of these, 7 million people have yet to be diagnosed
- Diabetes is a major cause of heart disease and stroke, and is the seventh leading cause of death
- Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, new cause of blindness and non-traumatic lower-limb amputations
- Approximately 60-70 percent of people with diabetes have mild to severe forms of diabetic nerve damage which can lead to lower- extremity amputations
- More than 60 percent of non-traumatic lower limb amputations in the United States occur among people with diabetes
- The rate of amputation for people with diabetes is 10 times higher than for people without diabetes
The Good News…
- According to a Thomson Reuters Healthcare study, the U.S.health-care system could save $3.5 billion annually if every American at risk for developing a diabetic foot ulcer visited a podiatrist once, before complications set in
- Comprehensive foot care programs can reduce amputation rates by 45 to 85 percent
- Today’s podiatrists are qualified by their education, training, and experience to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle, and related structures of the leg, and play an integral role in a diabetes management team
- Diabetes can affect many parts of the body and can lead to serious complications such as blindness, kidney damage, and lower-limb amputations. Working together as a team, those with diabetes and their health care providers can reduce the occurrence of many diabetes complications
The Great News…
As part of your Diabetes Management Team, we’re here to help. One of the biggest worries that people with diabetes has is losing a toe, foot or even worse, a leg. At FootCare Consultants of Cleveland we have developed a program called “Elect to Save Your Feet” whereby we help people engage and commit to preventing the devastating foot complications in people with diabetes. We do this first by educating people on the many complications that can occur in the foot and ankle such as diabetic neuropathy (loss of feeling), and peripheral arterial disease(Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) and Amputation). We then identify risk factors both in the foot and ankle, and also based on the patient’s general medical history that may lead to diabetic foot complications. Finally we will develop a comprehensive and customized treatment plan that will help lower the risk factors that lead to diabetic foot complications.
The first steps to “Elect to Save Your Feet”
- Educate yourself by clicking on the “Elect to Save Your Feet” icon for more information, as well as watching (Educational Videos) on “Diabetes and Your Feet” found on our website: www.ClevelandFootDoctors.com.
- Schedule an appointment for a comprehensive foot exam. We, along with the American Diabetes Association, recommend a foot exam at least once a year to identify risk factors as early as possible in order to initiate a treatment plan.
- Commit to our “Elect to save Your Feet” campaign through education, prevention and treatment of diabetic foot problems.