Oprah and Dr. Oz Discuss Diabetes
23 million people in the United States have diabetes, almost 8% of the population. There are 1.6 million new cases of diabetes every year. Why is a podiatrist so concerned about this? Not only can diabetes affect your eyes, heart and kidneys, but your feet are at great risk.
60-70% of people with diabetes end up with some form of nerve damage in their feet known as peripheral neuropathy. This causes a numb or painful feeling in the feet and legs and can affect one's life dramatically. Think about the feeling you get when you hit your "funny bone." Now think of that in both feet, constantly, 24-7...not too pleasant. Fortunately, we've had some success in treating diabetic peripheral neuropathy. In my office, I use a medical food called Neuremedy which is a fat-soluble form of thiamine, often deficient in diabetics. Another treatment is Microvas therapy. This non-invasive treatment helps to stimulate the small blood vessels to bring more oxygen and nutrients to the nerves, effectively reversing peripheral neuropathy.
Diabetes is responsible for 60% of non-traumatic lower extremity amputations. It's been well documented that once someone has an amputation of part of the foot, there's a very high chance that the other foot will be amputated within five years. Diabetics lack the ability to heal as well as those without. A simple crack in the skin or ingrown toenail can become a limb threatening injury. Diabetics should not wait to seek attention for anything on their feet, whether a callus or a diabetic wound or ulcer. In our office, a patient who calls with a diabetic concern is treated as a medical emergency.
All diabetics should establish a good relationship with their internist and/or endocrinologist to manage their overall diabetic control. It is also vital for a good relationship with a podiatrist and opthalmologist before there is a problem. An ounce of prevention is truly worth a pound of cure.