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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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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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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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Happy Trails: How to Travel Wisely with Diabetes Feet

“The world is an oyster,” according to Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor. If you have the financial means and the time to travel, there are unlimited possibilities for the adventures you may have. Unfortunately, there are additional considerations if you have diabetes. You may worry whether or not you will be able to do all the walking that often comes along with traveling away from home. You may also fret over how nerve damage or calluses can impact your trip.

diabetes feet

Traveling with diabetes feet can be a challenge, but it’s a manageable one with these tips from the makers of SteriShoe.
Image Source: Admissions.Tufts.edu

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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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Diabetic Foot Care Toolbox: 10 Helpful Accessories to Prevent Complications

“The truly scary thing about diabetic neuropathy is a 10-letter word we usually associate with horrific accidents or Civil War battlefields—amputation,” writes Patrick J. Skerett for the Harvard Health Blog. He explains that seemingly innocuous blisters, cuts, or sores can become infected wounds that do not heal. To prevent serious foot complications, diabetics can use the following 10 diabetic foot care accessories to make life easier.

diabetes complications

Foot problems are one of the many potential complications diabetics face.
Image Source: TrialX.com

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