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Foot Issues Related to Diabetes Awareness Month
Did you know that April marked Foot Issues Related to Diabetes Awareness Month, how often are you checking your feet?
April is deemed Foot Issues Related to Diabetes Awareness Month. Unfortunately, many people with diabetes are unaware of the importance of routine foot care. Physicians and educators are constantly reminding the public of the importance of measuring insulin levels and making sure to follow a diet and exercise plan. What about checking your feet for ulcers, callous and sores? This is a critically important preventive measure as it can potentially save your limb.
Diabetes foot issues like ulcers are important to monitor
Recent statistics show that more than half of the 20 million Americans with diabetes have no idea what a foot ulcer is, yet more than three million (15%) of them will develop a foot ulcer, and 25% of those will require a lower limb amputation as result of their ulcer not healing and becoming infected.
A new study published in the International Wound Journal highlights the effectiveness of a graft made from human tissue which helps the body repair the foot ulcer quickly by providing a means to rebuild the area of missing tissue. The reported data shows that this treatment known as GRAFTJACKET can heal these limb-threatening wounds faster, more effectively as and for less cost than standard wound care alone. The study found that patients are two to three times more likely to achieve complete wound healing when treated with GRAFTJACKET. Additionally, patients treated with GRAFTJACKET also healed more quickly, in five to seven weeks, as compared to six to eight weeks in the control group.
I have used GRAFTJACKET in my patients with compromised diabetic foot ulcers with great success. I have been able to prevent foot and leg amputations in hundreds of diabetic patients. Many patients come into my office seeking a second opinion after they have been told that their foot ulcer cannot be healed and that they must have an amputation. Often I can them tell them that there is an alternative approach that will save their limb. It is a wonderful satisfaction to heal their wound and allow them to continue to enjoy life walking on their own two legs.
As the rate of diabetes increases in this country, it's important to be educated about preventive care and new medical treatments.
Check your feet daily and if you notice anything suspicious, see your doctor right away. You could be saving not just your limb, but your life.
This is an unpaid guest post By Dr. Jeffrey Niezgoda, medical director of The Centers for Comprehensive Wound Care and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, St. Luke’s Medical Center, Aurora Health Care, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
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