New York, NY (April 27, 2016) – The United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that currently 29.1 million people—or 9.3% of the population—have diabetes. Many of these people deal with serious problems in their feet as a result of the nerve and circulation issues caused by diabetes. Worse—they may be at risk for eventual amputation if their foot issues are not treated properly. The American Board of Multiple Specialties in Podiatry (ABMSP) recommends that patients living with diabetes seek professional treatment with a board-certified podiatrist to help them both improve their quality of life and reduce the threat of ongoing foot problems or potential amputations.
Diabetes involves the feet by causing problems with nerves, circulation, muscles, joints, and infections. These problems in turn can contribute to orthopedic problems including deformities, gait abnormalities, hammer toes, large calluses, ulcerations, dry skin, and other problems. Diabetes can also cause a frightening condition: numbness that masks the detection of important symptoms. “Many diabetic patients have peripheral neuropathy in their feet,” said Kenneth B. Rehm, D.P.M., Diplomate of the American Board of Multiple Specialties in Podiatry. Rehm is ABMSP-certified in diabetic foot wounds and limb preservation and salvage.“Neuropathy shows up in many different ways, as dry skin, toenail problems, or loss of sensation. But the problem is that a lot of people with diabetes don’t realize their feet have gone numb.” Patients with diabetes must be vigilant, Rehm said. “If they take care of their feet, they don’t have to lose their feet or legs. Trouble doesn’t have to happen.”
“Almost all diabetic foot problems can be prevented, if they’re caught early enough,” Rehm continued. He points out that a preventive care treatment plan guided by a podiatrist who is board-certified in diabetic foot care is a patient’s best course of action. “Diabetes is an epidemic condition and requires accredited, certified levels of care for best outcomes,” he said. “Patients owe it to themselves to protect their quality of living by protecting their feet. A physician who is board-certified in diabetic foot wounds, limb preservation and salvage, surgery, and primary care can help.”