For Patients

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, podiatrists have seen some of the sickest patients of their careers—but these patients are not suffering from COVID. Instead, concerned about exposure to the virus, these patients have avoided regular appointments for preventive care or injuries, and as a result, they have severe diabetic foot wounds, infections, and in some cases even gangrene. Podiatrists are performing more amputations and often treating patients at risk of sepsis, a life-threatening systemic infection.

Patients with diabetes are at high risk from COVID-19 and should take precautions such as wearing a mask, limiting opportunities for exposure, and maintaining social distance. But APMA member podiatrists strongly encourage all patients, and especially those with diabetes, to keep up with their medical appointments.

Medical facilities are following strict protocols to protect healthcare providers and patients, including requiring masks and social distance in waiting rooms and implementing disinfection procedures between patients. If you are concerned, ask your podiatrist’s office about how they will keep you safe and about the possibility of telehealth appointments.

Here are more steps to maintain control over your diabetes during the pandemic:

  • Stay Active. Get proper nutrition and exercise. Consider physical activity a prescription to be taken daily!
  • Stay Alert. Track your daily blood sugar levels and your A1C. Perform daily foot exams (a caregiver or family member can help) to look for any changes to your feet, including color, temperature, and even minor injuries such as scratches and scrapes. Protect your feet with shoes even around the house to avoid injuries.
  • Stay in Contact. Keep up with all appointments with your diabetes care team and reach out to your podiatrist immediately if you notice a wound, injury, or other changes to your feet.

Regular care to maintain your foot health and overall health is essential, particularly in light of the pandemic. Don’t neglect your regular care out of fear of COVID-19. Keep your appointment, and keep your feet!

 

Additional Diabetes and Foot Health Resources

 

Source:  www.apma.org

 

The number of people living with diabetes is on the rise in our country, with millions of cases undiagnosed. Because of that, awareness is vital to the prevention and management of this debilitating disease. Diabetes impacts all organs of the body, but the effects on the feet make this disease toe-tally worse!

Consistently high blood sugars circulating throughout the body can cause changes to the skin, nails and blood flow, and can decrease sensation in the feet, causing patients to be more susceptible to diabetic foot ulcers, infections and deformities. Some of the most common foot deformities include bunions, hammertoes, and Charcot Neuroarthropathy. The combination of abnormal foot structure, nerve damage (diabetic neuropathy), and a decreased ability to heal due to high blood sugars can cause infected ulcers, which may lead to amputation.

Fortunately, there is good news – all of the complications mentioned above can be prevented! It starts with properly managing your blood sugar and having a great healthcare team – endocrinologist, primary care physician, and podiatrist.    

Five tips that you can start today at home include:

  • Inspect your feet daily.
  • Never go barefoot.
  • Make sure to check your blood sugar regularly.
  • Make sure to wear shoe gear that fits appropriately.
  • If you notice increased redness, pain or swelling to your feet, call your podiatrist immediately or report to the emergency room.

This entry was posted by Love and Science - 11/7/18

 

From Allen Jacobs, DPM, St. Louis, MO,
[email protected] 

Missouri Law Creates New 'Assistant Physician' Designation This week, the governor of Missouri signed a bill which potentially could be modified in other states to assist unmatched podiatry school graduates.The bill creates a category known as "assistant physicians." It permits the licensing of medical school graduates without a residency training programs to provide primary care services in under served rural areas of Missouri. The medical school graduate is initially supervised directly by a physician for 30 days, and then may practice independently in rural areas up to 50 miles from the office of the supervising physician.Perhaps various state societies might consider this for podiatry school graduates who fail to match for a residency. They could be given a license to practice under the direction of a podiatric physician following 30 days of direct supervision by the podiatric physician. Following this they would be allowed to practice podiatry, particularly primary care podiatry, in under-served areas of their statesThis would of course be a benefit to the recipients of the care which otherwise might not be available to individuals in the more rural areas of their states, and obviously provide some relief for those who were unmatched in the residency program.This is a model program in existence in Missouri, which might be used as representation as an example in various states. It would clearly take the support of local state podiatry societies and probably require the assistance of the APMA for legislative approval and implementation. However, it is an intriguing concept that I believe the deserves some consideration by state podiatric societies to benefit the citizens of those states and secondarily benefit those who are unmatched in the residency programs thus far.





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