A Proper Fit Can Help Save Limbs

Medical Minutes

Each year nearly 800,000 Americans are diagnosed with diabetes and that number is increasing.

Most of those people will be told they have Type-2 diabetes.

Today in Medical Minutes, I show you why these patients need to take special care of their feet.

Medicare estimates if diabetic patients took advantage of specially
designed shoes, $49,000 would be saved per patient in terms of surgery, hosptial costs, medication and rehabilitation.

A Perfect Fit\Reno]
Ten years ago 73-year old Dorothy Dobranski was diagnosed with
diabetes and told to pay special attention to her feet. "They told me I could lose my foot," she says.

Here's why Dorothy is so at risk for amputation.

When the hormone insulin attaches to cells, it allows the cells to absorb the bloodsugar glucose and convert it into energy. In people with
Type-2 diabetes the cells become less sensitive to insulin so less
glucose can be absorbed. Glucose can then build up to toxic levels, damaging blood vessels, nerves, and organs.

Both blood vessel and nerve damage can affect the feet.

The nerve damage called neuropathyt means patients like Dorothy cannot feel a cut or nick on the foot which can lead to trouble quick.

Says Mike Jones, an Orthodics Specialist: "Their infection rate is a thousand times more than that of a non diabetic. It only takes neglect of as little as three says worse case scenario they could be losing a part of their foot or the whole foot.

What many elderly diabetic patients don't know is that they can qualify for special shoe designed to ward off blisters and corns, as well as ward off bacteria that can collect in the shoe and lead to dangerous
infection for the diabetic.

"Multiple widths and lengths and it has to be able to accomodate the diabetic liners, It's crafting a foot bed that is antibacterial which can slow the infection rate should there be an infection," says Jones. "If there is a high arch type foot we like to add an orthodic that wy the balance increases you have far less chance of pressure in high pressure areas and in cetain parts of the foot.

The shoes are designed for comfort, with style taking a back seat. But for many patients like Dorothy, they've been a real limb saver.

When shopping, look for the qualifications of the person helping fit the shoe. And make sure you're allowed plenty of follow-up in case something changes with your feet or fit of shoe over the course of a year.

A Proper Fit is located at 1561 S. Virginia Street in Reno . . . the telphone # is: 323-3757.