Good Foot Care - Help Keep Your Diabetic Neuropathy Patients Healthy
By John Hayes Jr., DC, MS, DACBO
Unfortunately, diabetes is one of the fastest growing illnesses in North America. That means if you don't currently have patients with diabetes (unlikely, but possible), you will soon. And that means you're going to be treating patients with diabetic neuropathy, particularly diabetic neuropathy affecting their feet.
According to the American Diabetes Association, one in five diabetes patients ends up in the hospital with foot problems. All too often those foot problems lead to amputation or raging systemic infections. The best way to prevent these problems is by educating your diabetic neuropathy patients on how important it is to take care of their feet and to intervene as early as possible when they do develop problems. Determine the extent of your patient's problems and then educate them on proper foot and diabetes care.
Step One – The Thorough Foot Examination
If you have patients with diabetic neuropathy, even if they don't present with foot issues, you need to be proactive as their physician and ensure that you see them at least once a year for a complete foot examination. When you're examining their feet, make sure you do the following:1
Step Two – Patient Education
In order to prevent serious problems, your diabetic neuropathy patients need to know how to care for their feet and what to watch for so they can come in to see you before they reach a point of no return. Here's what they should do:
Don't just tell them what they need to do and take it for granted that they understand what you're telling them. Ask your patient to demonstrate the steps to proper foot care so you know theyknow what you're saying and that they are physically capable of doing what you're telling them to do.
Offer patients an ongoing monitoring and follow-up program. Keep in touch and watch for any of the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy in the feet. Diabetic neuropathy impairs the ability to feel pain in the extremities; patients may not notice the problem until it's too late for successful treatment. It never hurts to have a fresh pair of eyes (yours) keeping watch over them.
Dr. John Hayes Jr., a graduate of National College of Chiropractic, practices in Massachusetts. He also has a Master of Science in Biology and Nutrition from the University of Bridgeport and is a diplomate of the American Board of Chiropractic Orthopedists. Dr. Hayes is the founder and president of Health Solutions Group and the author of Beating Neuropathy - Taking Misery to Miracles in Just 5 Weeks! For more information, visit http://neuropathydr.com.