Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Diabetic Feet – What’s the Big Deal?
Individuals with diabetes are more susceptible to serious foot problems due to nerve damage, vascular damage or both. If you are a diabetic, your feet can be considered "at risk”.
Over time, elevated blood sugar damages the nerves to the feet causing peripheral neuropathy which creates numbness, tingling and even pain. When someone has peripheral neuropathy, he or she may not feel a blister or wound forming. One might not even feel the puncture from a sharp object on the bottom of the foot.
Seemingly minor injuries can cause an opening in the skin that can become a serious health risk. Advanced neuropathy may lead to severe bone and joint foot injuries... without any pain at all!
Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) occurs when the arteries carrying blood to the feet become narrow and stiff, leading to decreased oxygen and nutrient being delivered to the tissues. PAD is commonly seen in diabetics and is the major cause of foot amputations.
People with diabetes tend to have problems with wound healing. Factors relating to wound healing include decreased kidney function and impaired eye sight, as well as PAD. Thus, it is very important to find and treat any infections or wounds on the feet of people with diabetes.
How Will a Screening Help?
Early detection of diabetes is important to control the complications that come along with the disease including kidney, eye and cardiovascular disease. Moreover, research worldwide has also shown time and time again that early detection of the vascular and neurologic damage is very important for prevention of ulcerations and amputations.
More than 100 million US citizens are diagnosed with diabetes and diabetic amputations are on the rise! According to a study reported by Reuters Health in December of last year for every 1,000 individuals with diabetes (under the age of 45), 4.2 will result in a limb amputation. This number grew from 2.1 in 2009 to 4.2 by 2015.
Early detection of the vascular and neurologic damage is crucial for prevention of ulcerations and amputations. InStride Family Foot Care utilizes innovative technology to identify those at risk and to monitor any condition changes. TM-Flow Technology is offered for the early detection of both vascular and neurological complications for at-risk patients, including those with diabetes.
Screenings will save on patient budgets too! It has been reported that three years of follow-up care for an ulcer that has healed can cost as much as $27,000. The cost for someone who eventually needs an amputation can go as high as $70,000!
Diabetic Screening Innovations - TM-Flow Technology
TM-Flow technology measures blood flow in the feet and toes, as well as the state of the arteries. Artery strength must be detected to determine if a person’s body will be able to heal a sore, ulcer, or wound. TM-Flow also tests the density of the body’s C Nerve Fibers which are responsible for neuropathic pain. Heart rate and changes in blood pressure are also measured to assess the nervous system.
Reliable, objective testing of both the arterial and nervous systems enables Dr. McDonald of InStride Family Foot Care to provide specific preventative measures for each unique patient. For patients who do have an ulcer, he is able to identify those at risk for delayed healing, which helps determine the best course of treatment.
When patients have a screening with TM-Flow at InStride Family Foot Care, they are given recommendations to protect their feet and to protect their overall health. Following the screening, Dr. McDonald will discuss their results and make suggestions in diet, exercise, and supplement recommendations as part of the visit to benefit the circulation and nerve function to the feet.