Press release, MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital
Leonardtown, Maryland – November is National Diabetes Awareness Month and the Wound Care Center at MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital would like to remind patients living with diabetes how important it is to take care of themselves from head to toe.
“Approximately a quarter of individuals living with diabetes will develop a foot ulcer,” said Lisa Nelson, RN, MHA CWCN, clinical program director of MedStar St. Mary’s Wound Healing Center. “Up to 24 percent of people with foot ulcers will end up having an amputation which can greatly affect their quality of life and increase their risk of death.”
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 aged 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.
“American’s diabetic population is expected to nearly double in the next decade,” Nelson said. “It is important people understand the risks and know the facts associated with diabetic foot ulcers because early intervention and help prevent limb loss.”
The MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital Wound Care 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
Visit MedStarStMarys.org/WoundCare for more information 240-434-7670.