(1) DIABETES FOOT CARE FACTS
• 30 million Americans have diabetes (8% of the US population)
• 86 million Americans have pre-diabetes
• Every 23 seconds someone in the U.S. is diagnosed and another person faces terrible, life-threatening complications.
• 15% of people with diabetes are likely to suffer foot ulceration (3.6 million)
• Foot ulcers contribute to 85% of diabetes related amputations
• Over 80,000 lower extremity amputations are related to diabetes each year
• Proper foot care can reduce amputations by 45-85%
• Diabetes is the 6th leading cause of death
WHAT CAUSES FOOT ULCERS?1. Neuropathy: nerve damage causes up to 50% of foot ulcers
• The inability to feel damage or trauma to the foot is a major risk2. Vascular Disease: causes up to 29% of foot ulcers
• If you cannot feel a wound or callus – you do not know if it is there – therefore you do not get it treated
• Vascular disease leads to the inability to heal even minor traumas3. Foot Wound or Trauma
• This lack of healing allows them to ulcerate and become infected
• Pressure Calluses; cuts and scratches; blisters; corns; collapsed arches; thinning heel pads; bunions; etc.
• If these wounds or traumas are not felt, they continue to worsen.
(2) A DIABETES CHECKLIST
✔ Check your feet daily. Look for red spots, cuts, swelling and blisters. If you cannot see the bottoms of your feet, use a mirror or ask someone for help.
✔ Increase physical activity. Plan your physical activity program with your health team.
✔ Wash your feet daily. Dry them carefully, especially between your toes.
✔ Keep your skin soft and smooth. Rub a thin coat of skin lotion over the tops and bottoms of your feet, but not between your toes.
✔ Trim your toenails straight across and file the edges with a nail file.
✔ Wear shoes and socks at all times. Never walk barefoot. Wear comfortable shoes that fit well and protect your feet.
✔ Your socks should be made from soft, moisture control yarns and that are lightly padded with seamless toe seams.
✔ Check inside your shoes. Make sure the lining is smooth and there are no objects inside.
✔ Keep the blood flowing to your feet. Prop your feet up when sitting. Wiggle your toes up and down during the day.
✔ Wear your socks at night.
✔ Don’t smoke. Smoking can restrict the blood flow to your feet.
✔ Take care of your diabetes. Work with your health care team to keep your blood glucose in your target area.