As millions of Americans living with diabetes are also living with chronic wounds that won’t heal, the Iredell Wound Care & Hyperbaric Center is raising awareness of diabetes-related wounds as part of the Healogics ninth annual Diabetes Awareness Campaign.
Throughout November, Iredell Wound Care will educate healthcare providers in our community and surrounding areas about the importance of awareness, early intervention, and specialized care for diabetes-related chronic wounds, like diabetic foot ulcers. This important information aims to help at-risk patients living with diabetes.
There are more than 37 million Americans currently living with diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Additionally, there are 96 million American adults who have prediabetes, leading to 1.4 million new diagnoses of diabetes every year.
Diabetes-related wounds are a leading cause of limb loss, accounting for nearly 70% of cases undergoing lower extremity amputation in the United States. Approximately 25% of people living with diabetes will develop a foot ulcer.
Many suffering from chronic wounds have been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic as they have avoided needed care during the past two-plus years. Many of these untreated and undertreated wounds have resulted in amputation, according to a study from the ADA.
Factors that may increase the risks of developing a chronic wound, such as a diabetic foot ulcer, include high blood sugar levels, poor circulation, immune system issues, and nerve damage. Risk factors for diabetes include age, diet, activity level, obesity, and heredity.
The Iredell Wound Care & Hyperbaric Center recommends the following to help prevent diabetic foot ulcers:
- Stop smoking immediately
- Comprehensive foot examinations each time you visit your healthcare provider (at least four times a year)
- Examine your feet every day or have a family member inspect them
- Take good care of your feet and clean your toenails
- See your healthcare provider to care for corns and calluses
- Choose supportive, proper footwear (shoes and socks)
- Take steps to improve circulation such as eating healthier and exercising regularly
Early detection and specialized care from a Wound Care Center® can reduce healing times and significantly reduce the risk of amputation.
Contact the Iredell Wound Care & Hyperbaric Center to learn more about diabetic foot ulcers or if you have a wound that will not heal. To schedule an appointment, please call 704-768-0542. You can learn more about the center at iredellwoundcare.com.