On Tuesday, March 26, it is the American Diabetes Association Alert Day. Anyone can visit their website and take a free risk test to find out if you are at risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes. When it comes to health care for those with diabetes the need for a team approach is paramount.
Diabetes affects nearly every organ in your body, and to battle that damage a specialist for each system is crucial. Persons with diabetes will surely get to know a variety of specialists in their area as they visit each for checkups and treatment. One of the most important check-ups is a visit to a podiatrist.
Why visit a podiatrist? Unfortunately more than 60% of non-traumatic, lower-limb amputations occur in people with diabetes. In 2006 alone, about 65,700 non-traumatic lower-limb amputations were performed in people with diabetes. At our office, we perform comprehensive foot care programs, i.e., that include risk assessment, foot-care education and preventive therapy, treatment of foot problems, and referral to specialists, can reduce amputation rates by 45% to 85%.
Preventing this devastating complication is possible and cannot be underestimated. Most people with diabetes begin with annual or bi annual visits to the podiatrist, these visits become more frequent as needed. During these visits we use a variety of clinical tests and examinations to assess the blood-flow, skin, nerves, muscles, and bones of the foot and ankle. We will identify potential complications before they get out of control.
As a part of these visits details of diabetic foot care at home would be discussed. Some of the most important details include daily foot inspection, never walking barefoot, and application of lotions as needed to maintain skin health and integrity. Each patient requires their own regimen and together with the podiatrist patients will stay ahead of the statistics.
If you or someone you care for has diabetes, please give our office a call. Remember having a podiatrist as part of your health care team is essential. If you have any questions please call to schedule an appointment with Dr. Gary Friedlander or Dr. Jay Larson at Sole Foot and Ankle Specialists.