Group releases manual to help diabetics avoid foot problems

Individuals who have type 1 or type 2 diabetes often have difficulty with their feet. In the extreme, these issues can force them to have their feet or lower legs amputated. In fact, the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society estimates that diabetes is the cause of more than 60,000 lower extremity amputations each year.

In order to address this problem, the group recently released a new manual to help diabetics take better care of their feet. The manual explains how poor blood flow and long periods of elevated blood sugar levels can damage the tissues in the feet. Additionally, it offers information on proper washing and foot care techniques as well as the signs of infection and shoe fitting advice.

"Individuals with diabetes must be thorough about their foot care in order to prevent many of the serious foot complications associated with diabetes," said Keith Wapner, the group's president. "Any changes in shape or color, sense of feeling, painful areas or skin integrity need to be evaluated by an orthopedic foot and ankle surgeon."

Among other tips, the guide offers advice for avoiding foot injuries, such as never walking barefoot or wearing sandals, which may help individuals with diabetes avoid serious foot complications.

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