Diabetic Foot Problems

Some Startling Statistics:

Diabetes affects the lives of nearly 26 million people in the United States and nearly seven million don’t even know they have the disease yet. Diabetes is the inability to manufacture or properly use insulin, and it impairs the body’s ability to convert sugars, starches, and other foods into energy. The long-term effects of elevated blood sugar (hyperglycemia) can lead to serious damage to the eyes, heart, kidney, nerves, and feet.

While there is no cure for diabetes, there is hope. With proper diet, exercise, medical care, and careful management at home, a person with diabetes can avoid the most serious complications and enjoy a full and active life.

Today’s podiatrist play a key role in helping patients manage their diabetes successfully and avoid foot-related complications. Podiatrists are highly trained physicians and surgeons focusing on the foot and ankle and should be an important part of your diabetes management team.

Fact: More than 65,000 lower limbs are amputated annually due to complications from diabetes.

Fact: Including a podiatrist in your diabetes care can reduce the risk of lower limb amputation up to 85%.

Today’s podiatrist is an integral part of the treatment team and has documented success in preventing amputations. The keys to amputation prevention are early recognition and regular foot screenings performed by a podiatrist.

Diabetes Warning Signs

• 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

• Dry cracks in the skin, especially around the heel

Inspect feet daily

• Check your feet and toes every day for cuts, bruises, sores, or changes to the toenails, such as thickening or discoloration.

• Exercise. Walking can keep weight down and improve circulation. Be sure to wear appropriate athletic shoes when exercising.

• Wear thick, soft socks. Avoid socks with seams, which could rub and cause blisters or other skin injuries.

• Have new shoes properly measured and fitted. Foot size and shape may change over time. Shoes that fit properly are important to those with diabetes.

• Don’t go barefoot. Don’t go without shoes, even in your home. The risk of cuts and infection is too great for those with diabetes.

• Never try to remove calluses, corns, or warts by yourself. Over-the counter products can burn the skin and cause irreparable damage to the foot for people with diabetes.

• Regular checkups by a podiatrist-at least annually- are the best way to ensure that your feet remain healthy.

Fact: After an amputation, the chance of another amputation within 3-5 years is as high as 50%.

Fact: Care by today’s podiatrist can lower the risk of hospitalization by 24% for those with diabetes.

Call Central Carolina Foot and Ankle Associates at (919) 477-9333 if you have questions or would like to see one of our experienced doctors.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve your podiatric health needs.  We hope we will not only meet, but exceed your expectations.

Central Carolina Foot & Ankle Associates

4119 Capitol Street
Durham, NC 27704 
(near Duke Regional Hospital) 

5107 Southpark Drive
Suite 202
Durham, NC 27713 
(close to RTP and Chapel Hill)