Can a quick look at your feet tell you something about your health? For many diabetics that answer is yes. An estimated 9.4 percent of the population in the United States has diabetes including 7.2 million who are unaware they are living with the disease. The percentage of adults with diabetes increases with age, reaching a high of 25.2 percent among those aged 65 years or older. Other risk factors for diabetes include diet, activity level, obesity, and genetics. For those patients living with diabetes, being vigilant about wound care is extremely important according to Dr. Lisa Iucci of the Shore Wound Care Center. “Many of our patients do not have good sensation, especially in their feet so it is very important they have their feet checked.”
Right now, over 2 million people have a diabetic foot ulcer. High blood-sugar levels, poor circulation, immune system issues, nerve damage, and infection may all contribute to a non-healing diabetic foot ulcer. 25 percent of people living with diabetes will develop a foot ulcer and as many as 40 percent of people with a healed diabetic foot ulcer will develop a new ulcer within a year.
Shore's Wound Care Center, managed by Healogics, Inc., provides specialized treatment for chronic or non-healing wounds, which are defined as sores or wounds that have not significantly improved from conventional treatments. Associated with inadequate circulation, poorly functioning veins, and immobility, non-healing wounds lead to lower quality of life and may lead to amputations. When wounds persist, a specialized approach is required for healing.
In honor of Diabetes Awareness Month we want to make sure you know how to keep your feet healthy. Here are 5 steps to prevent the serious health concern of diabetic foot ulcers:
- Regular foot examinations by a health care provider
- Daily self-inspections of the feet, or help from a family member
- Regular care of the feet, like cleaning toenails and taking care of calluses
- Support, proper shoes and socks
- Improve circulation with healthy eating and regular exercise
While there is a connection between diabetes and foot complications, they don’t have to be life-threatening.
To make an appointment at the Shore Medical Center’s Wound Care Center, located on the second floor of the hospital at 100 Medical Center Way, Somers Point call 609-653-4526. The center is open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.