Proper Footwear is Key to Lower Risks for Diabetics

By Christopher M. Cole, L.Ped

Proper Footwear The number one reason a person with diabetes is admitted to the hospital is for foot ulcers or openings in the skin.

70% of these ulcers result in amputation. A corn or a callus (hard skin on top of your toes or on the ball of your feet) indicates a pressure point and in people with diabetes, this means an area at greater risk of ulceration or infection.

Prevention is the key to avoiding amputation. By wearing properly fitted shoes, before an ulcer starts,
the risk of amputation is reduced. In addition to fitting properly, the shoes must have solid support with pro-
tective custom inserts. If your feet have nerve damage (neuropathy) from diabetes, you may be unaware of
ill-fitting shoes. Shoes that are too tight or too small
can lead to ulcers.

Are your foot problems caused by 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 lowers risks of potentially severe problems.

When it comes to diabetic footwear, it can be confusing when trying to determine which products are best for you. The knowledgeable and experiences staff at Foot Solutions of Estero can help you determine what footwear you need.

Many people with diabetes rely on the style, comfort and quality of Dr. Comfort, the leader in the therapeutic footwear industry. Dr. Comfort’s shoes, slippers and socks are arguably some of the best fitting, finest quality therapeutic footwear available for diabetics. Providing the utmost comfort and quality, they are designed to keep your feet healthy today and in the future. Dr. Comfort footwear is created from the world’s finest leathers and are specifically designed for the diabetic foot. However, their stylish looks appeal to everyone! Foot Solutions of Estero has a wide selection of Dr. Comfort footwear products including: shoes, inserts, socks, slippers, sandals, and compression hosiery.

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 provide pedorthic diabetic foot checks. The foot checks include a thorough check for any sores or complications that can result from diabetic neuropathy. In addition, the checks also 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.

Foot Solutions Estero
(239) 495-8911

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