The American Diabetes Association (ADA) has designated November as National Diabetes Awareness Month. According to the ADA, “Nearly 26 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes.” Wound Management Services (WMS) at Sturdy Memorial Hospital joins the ADA in bringing attention to the seriousness of diabetes.
People with diabetes whose blood sugar levels are not within target range are at greater risk for complications, especially nonhealing wounds and infections, which can lead to amputation. WMS encourages diabetics to pay particular attention to shoes, which can cause cuts or blisters that for diabetics, can go unnoticed, causing skin ulcers. Here are some tips for diabetics to follow, when it comes to footwear:
- Because feet swell during the day, shop for shoes in the afternoon or evening.
- Correctly fitted shoes should allow space that measures ½ the width of your thumb, between the tip of the shoe and your longest toe.
- Buy laced shoes that match the width of your foot, and are made of soft leather with a cushioned sole over a thin, leather sole.
- Break in a pair of new shoes for an hour or two at a time, until they feel comfortable.
- To ensure your shoes fit properly, have your feet measured periodically to see if they have changed.
- Replace shoes when the heel or middle portion of the shoe is worn down.
“People with diabetes,” says Dr. Martin Harris, a podiatrist at WMS, “should regularly check their feet for dryness, cracks, bruises, sores, blisters, and reddened areas. Seek medical attention for wounds that persist without improvement for weeks, or worsen.”
To learn more about Wound Management Services at Sturdy Memorial Hospital and the conditions treated, please call 508-236-7600 or visit www.sturdymemorial.org. Sturdy Memorial Hospital is a full-service, independent, financially stable, not-for-profit acute care community hospital in Attleboro, Massachusetts.