I want to thank you in particular for watching this segment because this is very important. Let’s talk a little bit about diabetes and your feet which you may have or someone you know may be diabetic and may or may not have a foot problem, but let’s try to prevent them from having a foot problem. Over 70% of the worldwide non-traumatic amputations performed are performed on diabetics. There are over 230 amputations performed everyday in this country on diabetics and we want to try to lower that number rather than that number increasing. It’s estimated that by 2050 one in three people in this country may be diabetic so this is a rapidly expanding problem and one that we want to get to the bottom of. The important thing if you are diabetic is to remember your abc’s. “A”, is your Hemoglobin A1C, that’s the measure of your blood sugar for the past three months. “B”, is your blood pressure, you want to control that as tightly as possible and “C”, is your cholesterol. You’re going to control those first three with your internist, your primary care physician, your cardiologist and your diabetes care specialist, but I want to talk to you a little bit about your feet. The problems that we see with diabetes involve circulation because the sugar in the blood vessels will cause the blood vessels to become thick over time and the circulation will not reach the feet. The second thing that happens is diabetes causes a metabolic breakdown in the nerves going down to the feet. The feet can, after some time of un-controlled diabetes become numb, and once the feet become numb then you may be susceptible to big problems happening from little things and usually it is a little thing.
The most common event that causes a diabetic foot ulcer is a blister from a tight shoe – something as simple as that. So we always encourage our diabetics to come into the office initially, as soon as you get the disease, before anything happens to your feet, we want you to come into the office and we want you to get your feet checked, make sure your circulation is good, make sure that you can feel even a little bit of trauma on your feet. The next thing is to come in here every three to six months depending on how your control is with your diabetes and sometimes even more frequently so that we can check your feet and take care of anything that may be growing on your feet and anything that may cause any undue pressure because study after study shows that just by reducing the amount of callus on the bottom of your feet and controlling the nails we can prevent lower extremity amputations. So I want to encourage you, if you’re diabetic, or you know someone that’s diabetic, it’s of vital importance that you get evaluated by a podiatrist and the time to come is before you get any sort of symptoms or any sort of complications because now is the time when we can prevent complications and prevent amputations and prevent all the other horror stories that you hear about with diabetics. If you’re already diabetic and you have complications there are treatments out there and there are advanced wound care treatments and there are other treatments for all the complications of diabetics, even if you’ve been told that there may be no further treatments out there, there are constant advances on a daily basis so it’s really important that you get evaluated by a foot specialist today.