Diabetes is a disease where over time high levels of glucose can take a terrible toll on your eyes, feet and kidneys. With damage to the nervous system and blood vessels, diabetics may not be able to feel their feet. Here's more on how an Aberdeen man was able to save his foot with the help of a specialist with Avera St. Lukes.
David Anderson has lived with Type 1 Diabetes for almost 40 years. He'll tell you it's been anything but a cake walk. In fact, because diabetics have trouble with their lower extremities abnormal pressure on the skin, bones and joints of the foot during walking can lead to the development of nasty sores and ulcers.
David says, "On my foot I had an ulcerated sore because of bad circulation. I have neuropathy so bad I can't tell if I have socks on or not. I have to look down and see."
Dr. Stapp says, " They may lose sensation in their feet due to diabetes therefore a lot of them don't even look at their feet. But they should because they can develop sores and ulcers and not even know it. By the time I see them, they come in with ulcerations that are bleeding and oozing. It can be a debilitating problem."
David says, "You really don't feel that you have pain. I had a hole in my foot for about 9 months to a year. Then I went to Dr. Stapp. He cleaned it out and every week I'd come for treatments on it and now you can hardly see it and it was deep."
Dr. Stapp recommends that if you are a diabetic you wear white socks so when you pull them off you can see if your feet are bleeding. Also, wear good support shoes and wear slippers in the house for extra protection to insure nothing pierces your foot. Besides checking your feet daily, it's also important for diabetics to clip their toe nails and moisturize your feet regularly.
Dr Stapp says, "First and foremost, control your blood sugar. That's the best thing you can do."
David says, "Yeah I was kind of scared I'd lose my foot. I was kind of scared I'd end up on crutches but I didn't."
The diabetic knows that's a possibility if he doesn't control his blood sugar so he will use his head to stay grounded... luckily using both feet.