Page 11 - Senior Times South Central Michigan - October 2017 - 24-10
P. 11

Troy Pascoe, MD
THE LINK BETWEEN DIABETES AND FOOT ULCERS
According to the Centers for Disease Control, an estimated 30.3 million people in the United 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 impor- tant to keep your blood sugar levels under control. High blood sugar can lead to poor circulation, immune sys- tem issues, nerve damage and infec- tion. 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 experience a major amputation. Even more worrying, people with an amputation have a 50 percent death rate within five years.
Several common factors of diabetic foot ulcers include neuropathy, periph- eral 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 arter- ies, which reduce blood flow to the arms and legs. If you have PAD, you may experience pain or cramping in the legs, especially 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 results 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 vis-
its 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 condi- tions.
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 diabetic foot ulcers, contact Bronson Wound Center & Hyperbaric Medicine at (269) 245-8560 or visit us online at www. bronsonhealth.com/wound. 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 services in Kalamazoo, Paw Paw, and South Haven. Learn more at bronson- health.com.
Troy Pascoe is the medical direc-
tor 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, offers a comprehensive range of servic- es for the effective treatment of wounds and associated medical conditions.
Bronson
BATTLE CREEK
Senior Times - October 2017
Page 11
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