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Examining Diabetes Feet: Populations with Increased Risk and Helpful Prevention Measures

Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. Each year, it is listed as an underlying cause or contributing factor on more than 230,000 death certificates. Complications like kidney failure, blindness, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, neuropathy, and amputation are of grave concern.

diabetes complications

Diabetes complications make the disease the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S.

At Shoe Care Innovations, we are particularly concerned about diabetes feet and amputations. Did you know that the 5-year mortality rate of diabetics with lower limb amputations is nearly 50%? We hope to change that by introducing Americans to a new way of helping to prevent diabetic foot infections.

For a myriad of reasons, some populations in America are at greater risk for the development of diabetes than others. We’ll take a look at the statistics and discuss why these groups should consider investing in ultraviolet light shoe sanitization devices as part of their daily health care regimen.

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Examining PDRN: Tissue Repair Drug Helps Heal Diabetic Foot Ulcers

For most people, fungi and bacteria are an inconvenience warranting a trip to the doctor’s and a course of antibiotics or antifungal medication. However, people with diabetes literally risk life and limb by not treating these pathogens immediately, at the first sign of infection. Diabetic foot ulcers are lesions that do not heal in a timely fashion. When sores do not heal, microbial colonies flourish and spread among the surrounding tissues, causing cell death and gangrene that may warrant amputation. These sores also become an open portal to the body to pick up deadly infections, like staph and MRSA.

diabetic foot infection

Diabetic foot ulcers are no joke. They can result in amputation of toes, portions of the foot, or entire limbs.

We created a device called the SteriShoe UV shoe sanitizer to kill off dangerous pathogens living inside the footwear of diabetics. Limiting the amount of microbes you come into contact with is an important facet of treatment. People who already have diabetic foot ulcers will need to aggressively treat the infection under the care of a doctor. Recently, researchers found that a certain tissue repair drug makes patients with ulcers twice as likely to heal within eight weeks when compared to a placebo.

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Awareness and Prevention: How Do Diabetic Foot Ulcers Lead to Amputations?

The Amputation Prevention Centers of America says that nearly 1 in 5 diabetic foot infections require some sort of amputation. “If ulcers can be prevented, up to 85% of amputations may also be prevented,” says Dr. Francesco Squadrito, MD, of the University of Messina, Italy. It’s clear that diabetic foot ulcers many times result in amputations, but why? Shouldn’t we have more options for diabetic foot ulcer treatment in 2014?

diagram showing typical locations of foot ulcers

Foot ulcers usually appear on the bottom of the feet, but may also affect the toes.

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When Foot Health is Not an Option: Ulcer Recurrence Is a Huge Problem for Diabetics

Of the 26 million Americans with diabetes, 65,700 patients receive lower limb amputations each year. Diabetes itself does not cause the need for amputation, so how does a person wind up in such a troubling position? The fact is, minor sores can turn into big problems for individuals with diabetes, especially when one’s footwear is covered in bacteria. A goal of Shoe Care Innovations is to provide diabetics with tools they can use at home to maintain a more sanitary environment and decrease exposure to harmful pathogens that could cause life-threatening foot infections.

foot amputations

Diabetes is responsible for more than 60% of all non-traumatic lower limb amputations.
Image Source: FDiabetes.Wordpress.com

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Promising Treatment Method: Will Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Help to Heal Diabetic Foot Wounds?

A person recently wrote in to The Town Talk concerned about their 84-year-old diabetic father who has had a foot wound for five months. A podiatrist debrided the diabetic foot wound, prescribed antibiotics, and changed the bandages regularly, but the writer was wondering if hyperbaric treatment could help in this case. Many users of the SteriShoe UV shoe sanitizer are diabetics who are also worried about foot health and hygiene, so the portent for hyperbaric oxygen treatment is something we’re very much interested in.

chronic diabetic foot wound

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is an advanced treatment for chronic diabetic foot wounds.
Image Source: MemorialHermann.org

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5 Tips to Manage Type II Diabetes Symptoms

Type II Diabetes is a chronic condition that occurs when elevated levels of blood sugar persist. Most cases of Type II Diabetes are preventable with healthy diet and exercise habits, but factors like age, gender and genetics can also contribute to the development of the disease. Once you have Type II Diabetes, you are stuck with it, so understanding how to manage the symptoms through lifestyle modification is key.

type 2 diabetes

85% of Type 2 Diabetes cases and side effects can be prevented, delayed or treated.
Image Source: Healthline.com

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Innovation in Preventative Care: Can Smart Socks Detect Diabetic Foot Ulcers?

Ten to fifteen percent of diabetics will suffer a foot ulcer over the course of their lifetime. A wound that won’t heal may not sound like such a big deal, but the longer it takes for a wound to heal, the longer it is at risk of becoming infected. Worse yet, the risk of amputation correlates with an increase in mortality within the next five years! Researchers are scrambling to find new ways of helping diabetics prevent the complications associated with a foot ulcer through early detection. Our product — the SteriShoe UV shoe sanitizer — helps diabetics keep their footwear free from bacteria, viruses, and fungi, but we are also interested in the latest scientific development, such as ulcer-detecting socks.

diebetic foot ulcer costs

Diabetic foot ulcers cost U.S. hospitals $43,000 per patient.
Image Source: Mölnlycke.com

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Medication Monitoring: Can Diabetics Take Lamisil for Toenail Fungus or Athlete’s Foot?

More than 1 in 4 seniors gulp down at least five medications daily, according to US News & World ReportDiabetics are among those patients taking multiple medications, in addition to injecting themselves with insulin if their disease is particularly difficult to manage. They must take heed before treating any malady, as the addition of a new drug may interfere with one of their other prescriptions. If you are a diabetic dealing with toenail fungus, you may be wondering if it’s safe to take the popular oral drug terbinafine (a.k.a. Lamisil).

diabetes drug interaction

Many diabetics take multiple pills to manage their condition each day, which increases the risk of interaction with antifungal drugs.
Image Source: WebMD.com

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Stranger than Fiction: A Real Life Lesson on the Warning Signs of Diabetes

The story sounds like it would be found in a joke newspaper like the National Enquirer… but, in some cases, reality truly is stranger than fiction. ABC News reports that 48-year-old diabetic Jerry Douthett of Rockford, Michigan, woke up without his big toe. It turns out, his Jack Russell Terrier “Kiko” bit the infected toe off as the man slept! This incredulous story underscores the importance of taking care of your feet with daily foot inspections and products like the SteriShoe UV Shoe Sanitizer, so you can detect a diabetic foot infection early — before your dog does!

diabetic foot infection

A Jack Russell Terrier like this one bit his owner’s infected toe off and saved his life!
Image Source: Wikimedia.org

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Diabetes Feet Care: Reducing Pressure Key in Helping Wounds Heal

Amputation from a non-healing ulcer is any diabetic patient’s worst fear. There are many reasons why people with diabetes develop chronic wounds that never seem to heal. Part of the problem is their diminished circulation. Another key problem is the amount of pressure placed on foot wounds in particular. In this article, we’ll give you a few tips for taking the pressure off diabetes feet so small injuries heal in a timely manner.

diabetic foot wound offloading

There are many methods for offloading a diabetic foot wound, but they are not always pretty.
Image Source: LowerExtremityReview.com

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