Just Kidding: Diabetic Foot Infections Rates AREN’T Improving

Daily foot checks really CAN lower your risk of diabetic foot infectionNews reports recently have been happily telling us that the number of patients suffering from diabetic foot infections has been cut in half over the last 15 years—a statistic sure to make Houston podiatrists like me very excited.

Unfortunately, says Bryson Duham, an assistant professor of pharmacy at UT Austin, the numbers feeding these reports don’t actually mean that fewer people with diabetes are having foot problems.

So what’s the deal? Numbers suggest that in 2010, 1.1 out of every 100 diabetics developed a foot infection compared to 2.3 of every hundred patients back in 1996—clearly a huge step in the right direction.

But, says Duham, during that time period, the criteria for diagnosing someone with diabetes became stricter, meaning that people who would have been called diabetic in 1996 were no longer given that diagnosis by 2010. So, while diabetic foot care may be heading in the right direction, Duham cautions that podiatrists and other diabetic caregivers should still closely monitor the health of their patients’ feet, even if their blood sugar levels do not qualify for a diabetes diagnosis under the new standards.

In my Tanglewood Foot Specialists practice, I stress the importance of preventative care with my diabetic patients. Daily self foot checks, combined with regularly scheduled in-office examinations, can go along way to preventing foot problems and lowering the risk of severe complications like foot amputations.

If you are living with diabetes in Houston, the time to start your foot health regiment is now: schedule an appointment with Dr. Andrew Schneider today to start taking control of your illness.