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Almost 30 million children and adults have diabetes in the United States, from a recent report from the American Diabetes Association (ADA). They also found an additional 80 million individuals who are considered pre-diabetic.
One of the major areas of concern in our diabetic population is foot health. Diabetic foot complications are the leading cause of hospital admission among the diabetic population. We have all heard horror stories about amputations among friends and family as a result of diabetes.
Two areas of concern in the feet are the loss of sensation and the blood flow. Diabetic neuropathy is common and can lead to complete sensation loss in the toes and feet. With the cold weather, many diabetics burn their feet on heaters, heated blankets, and hot water baths from their sensation loss. If you have noticed a decrease in your ability to sense hot or cold, it is recommended you perform a daily inspection of your feet and the inside of your shoes.
Children love to put toys in random places, including in your shoes, which can lead to injury if you can’t feel your feet. The ADA recommends you see a podiatrist at least every 6 months for any type of sensation loss. Many amputations are a result of not having adequate circulation to heal whatever injury happens to the feet.
There are simple non-invasive tests that can be performed to evaluate blood flow to the feet. Persons who have circulation issues or previous ulceration are encouraged by the ADA to see their podiatrist every 3-6 months for inspection and evaluation.
Call us if you have further questions about how to take care of your feet as a diabetic patient. We strive to make sure that our patients living healthy lives.