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Preventative Care Protects Against Foot Ulcers

September 14, 2022

Diabetes can affect more than the foods you eat – uncontrolled sugar levels can cause foot ulcers that, if infected, can lead to amputation.

“Up to 25% of people with diabetes will develop a foot ulcer, and more than half of those wounds will become infected,” noted Anthony Babigian, DPM, a podiatrist with Hartford HealthCare. “Hospitalization and specialized wound care is usually required. One in five foot ulcers will require amputation.

Dr. Babigian will address this serious problem – which is connected with 80% of the 120,000 non-traumatic amputations in the U.S. each year – in the free webinar “Diabetes and Your Feet.” The presentation, which will include a question and answer period with the doctor, will be on Sep. 22, from noon to 1 p.m.

Current situation

While Dr. Babigian notes that the rate of leg and foot amputations in diabetic patients over 40 dropped 65% between1996 and 2008, it might be “the calm before the storm.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, he said, estimates:

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Be alert

“Prevention is the key to finding problems with diabetes in the feet when they can be treated,” Dr. Babigian said.

Preventive steps can include:

  • Inspecting your feet daily, and reporting any sores or red spots to your healthcare provider.
  • Keeping feet clean, soft and smooth.
  • Keeping blood sugar numbers in the target range.
  • Exercising.
  • Keeping blood flowing to your feet by elevating them when you sit.
  • Quitting smoking.
  • Wearing therapeutic shoes and socks if needed.