Oprah and Dr. Oz Discuss Diabetes

Today Oprah Winfrey is dedicating the entire episode to what she is calling the "silent killer"...diabetes. The episode will feature Dr. Mehmet Oz, Dr. Ian Smith, trainer Bob Greene, and chef Art Smith. Diabetes is a topic that can never have too much discussion.

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.
Dr. Andrew Schneider
Dr. Andrew Schneider is a podiatrist and foot surgeon at Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston, TX.
I was searching Google for diabetes prevention, and this article popped up. Interesting. I did not know that 60-70% of people with diabetes end up with some form of nerve damage. Anyways, good read!
by Bryan February 25, 2013 at 04:06 PM
I saw this episode! Very interesting. Because diabetes is a systemic disease affecting many different parts of the body, ideal case management requires a team approach. The podiatric physician, as an integral part of the treatment team, has documented success in the prevention of amputations!
by jenna October 13, 2011 at 06:27 PM
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