Did you know that an estimated 30.3 million people in the United States (9.4 percent of the population) have diabetes, including 7.2 million who are unaware they are living with the disease?
The percentage of adults with diabetes increases with age, reaching a high of 25.2 percent among those ages 65 years or older. In addition to age, risk factors for diabetes include diet, activity level, obesity and heredity. High blood sugar levels, poor circulation, immune systems issues, nerve damage and infection may contribute to a diabetic foot ulcer.
With America’s diabetic population expected to nearly double by 2030, it is important that people understand the risks and know the facts associated with diabetic foot ulcers.Approximately 25 percent of people living with diabetes will develop a foot ulcer, and as many as 40 percent of people with a healed diabetic foot ulcer will develop a new ulcer within a year. An estimated 14 to 24 percent of people with foot ulcers will experience an amputation, which results in decreased quality of life, increased medical costs and a significantly higher risk of mortality (the five-year mortality rate following a lower extremity amputation is 50 percent).
Early detection and intervention can help to mitigate the possibility of limb loss. The award-winning JRMC Wound Treatment Center recommends the following to help prevent diabetic foot ulcers:
- Stop smoking immediately
- Comprehensive foot examinations each time you visit your healthcare provider (at least four times a year)
- Daily self-inspections of the feet, or have a family member perform the inspection
- Regular care of the feet including cleaning toenails and taking care of corns and calluses
- Choose supportive, proper footwear (shoes and socks)
- Take steps to improve circulation such as eating healthier and exercising on a regular basis.
Proper wound care is imperative to healing diabetic foot ulcers. The JRMC Wound Treatment Center offers a number of leading-edge treatments that can aid in wound closure, new tissue growth, wound tissue regeneration and much more.
If you have a wound that won’t heal or want to learn more about diabetic foot ulcers, Contact the JRMC Wound Treatment Center. To schedule an appointment, please call 870-541-8747.