A person is diagnosed with diabetes every 23 seconds in America. That is a lot of Americans with a disease that kills more people annually than breast cancer and AIDS combined. When I educate newly diagnosed patients about diabetes, I usually briefly recap the big risks that their primary care provider has discussed which should include eye, kidney, and heart disease risks.
Foot Problems From Diabetes
Once the big picture is established, I explain the importance of foot care and their shoes. Why talk about shoes when there are so many other problems with diabetes? Well, basically 82,000 Americans lose their foot or leg to diabetes and frequently it starts out as an innocent looking sore, callus, or wound. Many of which could have been prevented by a simple, properly fit shoe.
Diabetic Shoes Prevent Wounds
Diabetic shoes are designed to prevent wounds, amputation, and even pain. In general, diabetic shoes are smooth lined, well cushioned, wide, and padded. They are made to be taller or deeper to allow for less friction and less pressure. An orthotic (removable shoe inserts) can be made specifically for the patient and provide pain relief as well as prevent problems. Diabetics with foot deformities are at increased risk for wounds and often need to be measured for appropriate size.
The American way of food and excess has brought rise to the diabetic plague, but thankfully also given rise a wide variety of shoes. Now, there are hundreds of fashionable diabetic shoes. Many of which are easily covered by insurance. So in short, we might not be good at controlling our diet and exercise, but at least we can have safe shoes in style.