It’s Diabetes Awareness Month (and World Diabetes Day is coming November 14)

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It’s Diabetes Awareness Month (and World Diabetes Day is coming November 14)

Diabetes awareness

Diabetes affects foot health and foot health affects your diabetes prognosis.

An estimated seven in 10 diabetes patients will have nerve damage that impairs feeling in their feet. Fifteen percent eventually will develop a foot ulcer. Among those with ulcers, one in four will lose a foot. Each year more than 86,000 amputations are performed as a direct result of diabetes, and studies show that half of those who have one foot or leg amputated will lose the other within five years. Proper diabetic foot care, says James Hill DPM FACFAS, prevents foot loss.

In some cases, amputation might be the preferred option. If vascular and podiatric surgeries can’t improve blood circulation and foot function, resolve infection, or restore foot function, amputation may be the only solution that enables the patient to heal. Today, advances in prosthetics make it possible for patients to return to an active lifestyle, a necessity for keeping diabetes under control.

Foot problems are not an inevitable consequence of diabetes. The risk can be lessened significantly by following a few simple precautions:

  • Keep your blood sugar under control to help minimize cardiovascular and blood circulation problems;
  • Lose weight, don’t smoke, and adhere to a prescribed dietary, medication, and exercise regime;
  • At least once a day, examine your feet for cuts and other small wounds you may not feel;
  • Never walk barefoot, outdoors and indoors;
  • Cut nails carefully – straight across and not too short; never trim corns and calluses yourself;
  • Wash your feet every day in lukewarm water, then dry carefully;
  • Choose comfortable shoes with adequate room for the toes;
  • Wear clean, dry, non-bulky socks; change daily;
  • Shake pebbles or bits of gravel out of your shoes before wearing them;
  • Seek treatment from a foot and ankle surgeon if minor cuts and sore spots don’t seem to be healing.

 

November 14: World Diabetes Day

World Diabetes Day is the primary global awareness campaign focusing on diabetes mellitus and is held on November 14 each year. Led by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), each World Diabetes Day focuses on a theme related to diabetes, a largely preventable and treatable non-communicable disease that is rapidly increasing in numbers worldwide.

 

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