Make Sure Your Feet Are Covered

By Christopher M. Cole, L.Ped

Make Sure Your Feet Are CoveredDid you know that more than 65,000 lower limbs are amputated annually due to complications from diabetes?  And after an amputation, the chance of another amputation within three to five years is as high as 50 percent!  With these staggering statistics, proper care of the feet, early recognition, and regular foot screenings for someone with Diabetes are absolutely imperative.

Are my symptoms associated with diabetes?
Unless you are routinely checking your blood sugars, or performing a neurologic or vascular assessment, you may not know that you are developing some of the common symptoms associated with diabetes.  In many cases, some of these early signs will develop in the feet and legs.

It is the neurologic and vascular changes that create the greatest “feet” risks for those that develop diabetes.  If there is poor circulation (vascular impairment) to the feet, you may develop changes such as skin color changes, swelling of the foot or ankle, numbness in the feet or toes, pain in the legs, open sores on the feet that are slow to heal, ingrown and fungal toenails, bleeding corns and calluses, and dry cracks in the skin, especially around the heel.  The above changes (or symptoms) can become more troublesome if the impaired circulation is complicated by what is known as a diabetic peripheral neuropathy.

When you have a diabetic peripheral neuropathy, you have impaired or loss of sensation (neurologic changes).  By loss of sensation, this means that you cannot feel what the average person feels.  An example of a diabetic with a peripheral neuropathy and vascular impairment is that you could have something as simple as a seam on your shoe irritate a portion of the foot without your knowledge and this can easily progress to much more serious problems such as infection, amputation, and even loss of life.  These problems become life threatening because you are not aware that they are affecting you.

These areas of concern can easily be checked by your Podiatrist, and the potential risks can be significantly reduced.

Proper footwear is key to lowering risks of potentially severe feet problems for diabetics.
When it comes to diabetic footwear, it can be confusing when trying to determine which products are best for you. The knowledgeable and experienced staff at Foot Solutions of Estero can help you determine what footwear you need.

Foot Solutions Estero offers the largest selection of diabetic footwear in the area, including: shoes, inserts, socks, slippers, sandals, and compression hosiery. Brands like Dr. Comfort, New Balance, Brooks, Aravon, Dunham, are arguably some of the best fitting, finest quality therapeutic footwear available for diabetics.  These styles provide the utmost comfort and quality, and have stylish looks that appeal to everyone. This footwear is designed to keep your feet healthy today and in the future.

The cost of your therapeutic footwear may be covered!
Part of your prevention and care if you have diabetics is to ensure you are wearing the proper diabetic footwear. When shopping for shoes, socks, and other footwear, make sure that you go to an approved provider for Medicare’s Therapeutic Shoe Bill. This bill is designed to help prevent amputations due to complications from diabetes. At Foot Solutions of Estero, eligible clients can receive diabetic appropriate shoes and insoles at greatly reduced or no cost.

Medicare’s diabetic footwear benefit provides proper footwear and inserts for people with diabetes who qualify under Medicare Part B. This program was designed to prevent complications such as lower limb ulcers and amputations for individuals who are diagnosed with diabetes. At Foot Solutions, we believe you can achieve better health through your feet.

The staff at Foot Solutions of Estero will be providing free pedorthic diabetic foot checks. The foot checks will include a thorough check for any sores or complications that can result from diabetic neuropathy. In addition, the checks will include a pressure map reading of the feet, a balance and gait analysis and fittings for diabetic footwear.

Foot Solutions is next to Publix in the Corkscrew Village plaza on the corner of U.S. 41 and Corkscrew Road. For those who have physical limitations which prevent them from coming into Foot Solutions, licensed pedorthist Chris Cole may be available to make “house calls” at no charge, to perform foot checks and diabetic shoe fittings at the person’s home. To make reservations for this free event or to schedule an in-home visit, call 495-8911.

Christopher M. Cole, L.Ped

Chris is a Licensed Board Certified Pedorthist and owner of Foot Solutions Estero, a BOC Accredited Facility. Chris graduated from  Clemson  University and has taken advanced course study in Mass Position Theory, CAD/CAM Technology for Prescription Foot Orthotics, Pedorthic Care of Diabetic Foot, Heel Pain Syndrome, Obesity among older Americans, Fall Prevention, and Shoe Construction and Modification.

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