Diabetic Foot Health
Why do I need to see a podiatrist if I am a diabetic?
Healthy feet are a great start to a healthy life.
It is important to note that the number of people being diagnosed with diabetes is increasing. Fifteen percent of diabetic patients will develop a foot ulcer in their lifetime.
Research has shown that patients with prior amputations have a 68% risk of having another amputation within the next five years. Additionally, there is a 50% mortality rate in the five years following patients with their first amputation. Most importantly, if you get hospitalized because of a diabetic foot infection, there is a 50% chance of you undergoing an amputation.
With those numbers in mind, it is recommended for all diabetic patients to see a podiatrist for a thorough diabetic foot exam to determine their risk level, and to help treat their diabetic ulcer and prevent an infection from occurring.
What can I expect on my first visit?
Diabetic patients are at risk for sensory neuropathy (loss of sensation), motor neuropathy (foot deformities), and autonomic dysfunction (skin issues), all of which contributes to the likelihood of the patient developing a foot ulcer.
At the first visit, a thorough physical exam will be carried out to evaluate those areas. If you are diabetic, don’t hesitate to make your first appointment. The visit itself can be informative and can help you understand the changes you are seeing in your feet. Remember, do not let your lower extremity slow you down in life.
Please visit https://www.diabetes.org/ for more information.
Armstrong DG. Lipsky BA. Diabetic foot infections: stepwise medical and surgical management. Int Wound J 2004; 1:123-132