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Eating for Foot Health: Try Superfoods to Prevent Diabetes Infections

“Food is medicine,” according to wise Greek philosopher Hippocrates. In ancient times, food was all people had to prevent horrible diseases and infections. Today, people with diabetes are often advised to be mindful of what they eat. “Even though we live in a pill-popping, drug-oriented culture, more and more people are starting to realize that food is really our best medicine,” concurs Dr. Stephan Ripich, M.D. He adds, “There is no stage of Type 2 that can’t be helped by making some smart dietary changes.”

The makers of the SteriShoe UV shoe sanitizer are interested in learning how to prevent diabetes complications, like diabetes infections of the foot. In addition to killing fungus and bacteria in your footwear using UV light, eating the right superfoods is another natural method of preventing infection.

diabetic infection

There are many superfoods that can help diabetics prevent infections.

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Examining Diabetic Foot Facts: Exactly How Serious Is the Condition, and How to Cope?

We often hear that diabetics need to “inspect their feet everyday”… but is it really necessary? How many people with diabetes really suffer from complications like the loss of sensation in their feet, diabetic foot ulcers, gangrene, and life-threatening infections? Aren’t amputations a thing of the past, given the advances in modern science? The makers of a UV shoe sanitizing device have compiled a few pertinent statistics that illustrate just what a serious issue diabetic foot health is.

foot inspection

Daily foot inspections should be part of a diabetic’s everyday life.
Image source: Flickr user Elvert Barnes

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Veterans & Diabetic Foot Ulcers: A Review of Existing Research

More than 25% of veterans have been diagnosed with type II diabetes. That means 1 in 4 people receiving care at Veteran Administration (VA) hospitals are being treated for the disease. According to the U.S. government, service members who were exposed to Agent Orange have an increased risk of developing diabetes. Last year, the Detroit Free Press reported that the number of diabetes cases rose from 135,000 to nearly 323,000 in the past nine years. That’s more than 10% of the military personnel who went to Vietnam.

vietnam veterans agent orange

Diabetes is the most prevalent disease among Vietnam veterans.
Image Source: U.S. Navy Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Tristan Miller via Wikimedia.org

In fact, more Vietnam vets are receiving compensation for diabetes than for any other health issue, including post-traumatic stress disorder, hearing loss, or general wounds. The average veteran receives about $3,000 for diabetes care alone. Along with diabetes comes the risk of diabetic foot ulcers, which occur when pressure causes breaks in the skin and those slow-healing wounds become infected.

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Examining the Medical, Drug, and Work Loss Costs of Diabetic Foot Ulcers

Healthcare cost in America has been a hot topic in the news for the past several years, as our nation’s leaders look at ways to curb expenses and make top-level care more affordable for the masses. At the very least, the economic burden of diabetes-related complications should remain a motivator for individuals with the disease to strive toward careful health management.

Did you know that the average cost to heal a diabetic foot ulcer is $8,000? For a wound that has become infected, this number skyrockets up to $17,000, according to a report published in Clinical Diabetes, the official journal of the American Diabetes Association. Beyond the medical bills, the cost of diabetic foot ulcers to society is astronomical.

diabetic foot ulcers

Diabetic Foot Ulcers result from a complex interaction of multiple risk factors.

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Rising Incidence of Type 1 Diabetes Prompts Emphasis on Child Foot Care

Type 1 diabetes cases skyrocketed 21% from 2000 to 2009, according to a new study presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies’ meeting in Vancouver, Canada, this month. Similarly, the rate of Type 2 diabetes associated with obesity jumped more than 30% during that time. Nationwide, there are nearly 167,000 children with Type 1 diabetes and over 20,000 with Type 2 diabetes. “Every new case means a lifetime burden of difficult and costly treatment and higher risk of early, serious complications,” said study author Dana Dabelea from the Colorado School of Public Health. Foot ulcers can be one of these complications, but not if you follow our child foot care advice.

diabetes epidemic

The incidence of Type I and II diabetes is increasing among children.
Image Source: ChildrenWithType1Diabetes.com

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Take Strides to Protect Your Feet: 3 Reasons Diabetics Should Invest in Shoe Orthoses

People with diabetes can achieve the best possible health by managing the various risks they face. Poor circulation is one complication caused by elevated blood sugars. This condition makes it more difficult for wounds to heal — particularly wounds in the lower extremities.

Another complication — nerve damage — makes it possible for slow-healing wounds to go undetected for long periods of time. During this time, bacteria, viruses, and fungi can easily infect the wound. We wash our clothes daily, but fail to follow any regular protocol for our footwear — and yet, this dark, damp, warm environment is where pathogens like to procreate most.

To avoid dangerous diabetic foot infections resulting in hospitalization, surgery, and/or amputation, we recommend preventing foot wounds with orthoses and preventing microbial buildup with a SteriShoe UV shoe sanitizer.

diabetic orthoses

There are several different types of orthoses to choose from.
Image Source: KLMLabs.com

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Health Insurance Obstacles: Toenail Fungus Considered a “Cosmetic” Issue and Not Included in Coverage

“I had Aetna tell me they wouldn’t pay for an anti-fungal prescription for my toenail fungus,” writes a reader of Truthout Magazine. The writer goes on to say that multiple appeals and biopsy results didn’t sway the insurance company to pay for an expensive medication, but they did concede that they would pay to have all the patient’s toenails surgically removed! Absurd stories like this are more common than you’d think because health insurers largely consider toenail fungus to be a “cosmetic” issue. We strongly disagree!

toenail fungus pills

Makers of toenail fungus medication are charging a fortune for their pills, but efficiency is questionable.
Image Source:bionapcfa.blogspot.com

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Got Cold Feet This Winter? It Could Be Your Diabetes!

The cold weather brought by winter can make life really unpleasant for a diabetic. Your skin is probably feeling really dry this time of year, and you may not be as physically active as you’d like to be, which can leave you feeling lousy in more ways than one. Peripheral neuropathy — which causes numbness and pain in the hands and feet — is the most talked-about complication of diabetes, but there are other complications that may cause your feet to feel extremely cold.

ice cold feet

Diabetics often suffer from ice-cold feet, making winters particularly uncomfortable.
Image Source: LungesAndLace.com

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What Causes Diabetic Nerve Damage?

If you’re a diabetic, you may find that you’re in denial about the severity of your condition. “Oh, I don’t have neuropathy,” you may think. It may surprise you to find out, but some people with nerve damage have no symptoms at all, although doctors may detect small amounts of protein appearing in a urine sample. The condition often sneaks up subtly over the course of several years. In cases of people with focal neuropathy, the sudden pain is impossible to ignore. The causes of diabetic nerve damage are just as varied as the symptoms.

diabetes feet

Diabetic nerve damage can cause serious problems in the feet.
Image Source: DiabetesInfo.org.au

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The Dysvascular Foot & How It Leads To Infection

A “dysvascular foot” refers to a foot that has a defective blood supply. This condition is most frequently found in diabetics, and is directly caused by chronic heightened blood sugar levels which cause nerve damage over time. This nerve damage is called “neuropathy.”

According to FW Wagner,  dysvascular patients make up 80% of the thousands of patients who undergo lower extremity amputations. He created a scale to help doctors figure out how to determine the severity of a patient’s foot infection. Hopefully you will keep a close eye on your diabetic foot hygiene, so you never have to worry about such trouble.

wagner scale

FW Wagner created a scale to help doctors determine the severity of a dysvascular diabetic foot. Image Source: PhysicalTherapy.com

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