Page 28 - Scene Magazine 42-10 October 2017
P. 28

Health Scene
The Link Between Diabetes and Foot Ulcers
BY TROY PASCOE, MD, Medical Director, Bronson Wound Center & Hyperbaric Medicine
According to the Centers for Disease Control, an esti- mated 30.3 million people in the Unit- ed States (more than nine percent of the population) have diabetes.
Seven million of those living with the disease are unaware of their condition. The proportion of adults with diabetes increases with age. Those 65 and older have an incidence rate of 25 percent or higher.
Diabetes can also be a factor in other health issues such as:
• Blindness
• Heart disease
• Kidney failure
• Lower-limb amputation.
If you have diabetes, it is important to keep your blood sugar levels under control. High blood sug-
ar can lead to poor cir- culation, immune system
issues, nerve damage and infection. In turn, these health issues may result in a diabetic foot ulcer.
Research by the Amputee Coalition of America indicates that four to 10 percent of people living with diabetes will develop a foot ulcer. An estimated 15 percent of people with foot ulcers will experi- ence a major amputa- tion. Even more wor- rying, people with an amputation have a 50 percent death rate within
five years.
Several common factors
of diabetic foot ulcers include neuropathy, peripheral arterial disease (PAD), deformities
and Charcot foot. Neuropathy is the
result of damage to nerves in the feet and hands. It can often cause
weakness, numbness and pain.
PAD is caused by narrowed arteries
which reduce blood flow to the arms and legs. If you have PAD, you may expe- rience pain or cramping in the legs, es- pecially when walking, climbing stairs or exercising. You may also have pale or blue skin on your legs or feet. The reduced circulation caused by PAD can result in slow healing of leg or foot wounds.
Charcot foot is a deformity that re- sults from nerve damage in the foot or ankle, which may cause injuries to go untreated, leading to the breakdown of joints.
To help prevent diabetic foot ulcers you should:
• Stop smoking
• Request foot exams during your visits to your doctor (at least four times a year)
• Inspect your feet each day (or have a family member do the inspection)
• Take regular care of your feet, including cleaning toenails, and let your healthcare provider know of any corns and calluses that develop
• Choose good, supportive shoes and socks
• Help improve your circulation by eating healthier and getting regular exercise
Healing diabetic foot ulcers requires proper wound care. Bronson Wound Center & Hyperbaric Medicine in Battle Creek is able to provide a wide range of services for effective wound treatment and associated medical conditions.
As chronic wounds are often linked to other underlying medical conditions, we combine specialized wound care with your ongoing healthcare to meet your unique needs as an individual.
If you have a non-healing wound or would like more information about the care and treatment we offer for diabet- ic foot ulcers, contact Bronson Wound Center & Hyperbaric Medicine at (269) 245-8560 or visit us online at www. Our office is conveniently located at 300 North Ave., 1st Floor, Battle Creek, MI 49017.
In addition to Battle Creek, Bronson Healthcare also offers wound care ser- vices in Kalamazoo, Paw Paw and South Haven. Learn more at bronsonhealth. com
Troy Pascoe is the medical director of Bronson Wound Center & Hyperbaric Medicine in Battle Creek. Dr. Pascoe is board certified in internal medicine with an interest in hyperbaric medicine and wound treatment. He, along with one of the most experienced wound teams in south central Michigan, offer a compre- hensive range of services for the effec- tive treatment of wounds and associated medical conditions.
Diabetic Foot Awareness Open House in Battle Creek on Friday, November 10. Information about diabetes, diabetic foot health and nu- trition will be provided. Learn helpful tips on foot protection and proper shoe selection. Foot assessments will be offered with advanced registration. Call (269) 245-8190 to register. More information is available online at

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