Prevent Foot Problems In Diabetics

Diabetes has reached epidemic proportions in North America. Two million Canadians (about 20 million in the US) have diabetes, and the number is expected to rise dramatically. At one time or another about 15-20% of patients with diabetes will need hospitalization with a diabetic foot complication. The conditions, which are of concern, are diabetic foot ulcers, severe infection and circulation problems in fingers and feet (peripheral circulation). Health budgets are stretched, as the cost of treating a single foot ulcer has been estimated at $2,183, so the total cost over the lifetime of current diabetics will exceed $650 million (about 6.5 billion $ in the US). Foot ulcers appear like a small item considering the fact that the need for amputation of a lower extremity is the next severe problem that can arise. The average patient who undergoes a below knee amputation will spend 84 days in hospital and another 38 days in rehabilitation.
To prevent the development of foot ulcers, it is important to screen diabetic patients for predisposing factors like the loss of protective sensation in the feet (diabetic neuropathy) as well as structural changes resulting in areas of increased pressure. A study conducted in southwestern Ontario found that only 15% of patients with type 2 diabetes were screened to identify those at risk for foot ulcers. Screening is the first step, after which a podiatrist will have to take over. Footwear prescribed by a podiatrist can be an avenue of prevention, but ongoing podiatric care as well. The small number of diabetic foot screenings shows that podiatric medicine has not been used as a tool to recognize and treat diabetic foot problems.

Prevent Foot Problems In Diabetics

Prevent Foot Problems In Diabetics

The proactive approach of seeking the input of a podiatrist early will translate into significant benefits for the patient with type 2 diabetes.

More information on complications of diabetes:  http://nethealthbook.com/hormones/diabetes/complications-diabetes/

Reference: Parkhurst Exchange, December 2005, page 162

Last edited October 30, 2014


Flu Shots Prevent Heart Disease, Lung Disease, Strokes And Deaths

It has been known for some time that flu shots would be beneficial. But it was not known until now whether in larger field studies people who are 65 years or older would benefit significantly and to what degree from yearly influenza vaccinations (“flu shots”).

The April 3rd, 2003 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine published the answer to this question. Dr. Nichol from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, and his collegues have followed 140,055 patients of whom 55.5% were vaccinated against the flu in the 1998/1999 flu season.

They also followed 146,328 subjects during the 1999-2000 flu season of whom 59.7% were vaccinated against the flu. Below is a breakdown how they fared when compared to non-immunized controls (see table).

Flu Shots Prevent Heart Disease, Lung Disease, Strokes And Deaths

Flu Shots Prevent Heart Disease, Lung Disease, Strokes And Deaths

The examiners of this study concluded that high risk patients (asthma patients, patients with diabetes, cancer, elderly patients, arthritic patients and patients with high blood pressure) should have a yearly Flu vaccination.

Patients after Flu vaccinations. How did they do?
(based on 1998/99 and 1999/2000 flu seasons)
Complications: Observation:
Heart disease: reduced 19% this included heart failure and heart attacks
Hospitalization for stroke: reduced 16% to 23% often hospitalization for stroke patients can be weeks and months, often resulting in other complications due to bacterial superinfections, falls or clots
Pneumonia and
influenza rate:
29% to 32%
this can lead to heart attacks and deaths from bacteria in the blood
Death rates: reduced 48% to 50% all of the deadly complications from getting the Flu remarkably reduced by Flu shots!

However, in my opinion anybody would benefit from regular Flu vaccinations as this boosts the immune system in general protecting against other infections and colds as well.

Here is a link to a chapter on the flu in Net Health Book.

Last edited October 25, 2014