Monday, March 18, 2013
Diabetes Danger Zone
It's not high blood sugar, heart disease, or stroke that most often puts people with diabetes in the hospital. It's their feet.
“Foot wounds are the most common diabetes-related cause for hospitalization,” said David Stanley, M.D., medical director with the Methodist Wound Treatment Center. “Foot wounds in a person with diabetes can also lead to amputation.” Fortunately, people with this disease often can prevent these serious wounds with daily foot examinations. ”The potential for foot problems leading to major health issues is significant,” added Dr. Stanley. “Ask your doctor to check your feet every time you go for a visit.” Here's what you can do to help prevent foot problems:
· Take care of your diabetes. Work with your health care team to keep your blood glucose in your target range.
· Look over your feet daily. Check for sores, cuts, bruises, and toenail changes. See your health care provider immediately if you detect a new lesion, cut or if your foot becomes swollen, red, or painful.
· Wash your feet daily. Use a mild soap and lukewarm water, and dry your feet very carefully, especially between the toes. If the skin is dry, use a moisturizer—but not between the toes.
· Wear shoes and socks at all times. Never walk barefoot, even in your home. If your doctor tells you you’re at high risk for foot problems, he or she may recommend a specific shoe type.
· Don’t smoke. Smoking can cause decreased blood flow to the feet and make wounds heal slowly. Many smokers with diabetes need amputations.
· Know your resources. Professionals with Fort Sanders Diabetes Centers and the Wound Treatment Centers of Covenant Health can help you manage your diabetes and treat chronic wounds. Call 541-4500 to learn more