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Diabetes Awareness Month 

More than 1 in 10 Texans is living with diabetes today making it one of the most common conditions in the state. Not only does diabetes increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, those diagnosed with diabetes are also at risk for other complications, such as peripheral neuropathy and non-healing wounds.

In honor of Diabetes Awareness Month in November, Damien M. Dauphinée​, DPM, medical director of limb preservation and wound care management at The Heart Hospital Baylor Denton, encourages those with diabetes to educate themselves on their condition, visit with their primary care physician for a diabetes foot checkup, and develop a relationship with a podiatrist who treats diabetic foot problems.​

Importance of Diabetic Foot Exams

One of the main reasons patients with diabetes end up in the hospital is issues with their lower extremities — their legs and feet. That's why it is important for every person with diabetes to have a routine diabetic foot exam with a podiatric physician. In addition, it is recommended that every visit with a primary care physician involve kicking off those shoes and socks and allowing their doctor to examine their feet.

The average patient should be seen at least yearly by a podiatrist. For those with a history of neuropathy, checkups should be even more often — every 3-4 months.

Many diabetes patients who are covered under Medicare quality for the diabetic shoe program​. For those who have neuropathy or a foot deformity, a podiatrist may prescribe special therapeutic shoes or inserts, which are covered by the program every year to protect the skin on the feet. These shoes or inserts help prevent wounds and other diabetic foot complications that could lead to limb loss.

In addition to routine exams and therapeutic shoes or inserts, there are several ways those with diabetes can keep their feet in check. Review these 12 diabetes foot care tips​ to help you care for your feet on a daily basis.

​prevalence of Diabetes in Texas

According to Texas Department of State Health Services statistics, the percentage of adults with diabetes in Texas is above the national average, and it has continued to increase over the past several years.

Those with a diabetes diagnosis show increased rates of other associated conditions. In Texas, residents with diabetes are almost four times as likely to have cardiovascular disease and more than twice as likely to have high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

In addition to diagnosed diabetes cases, an estimated 8 percent of adults in the state have prediabetes​​​​​, and even more may be undiagnosed. To assess your risk of diabetes, download our free diabetes risk assessment now and discuss your results with your doctor.

Thank you for following along during Diabetes Awareness Month. Together we can raise awareness about diabetes risk factors and encourage routine management.

The Comprehensive Wound & Vascular Center, an outpatient service of The Heart Hospital Baylor Denton, offers complete care for chronic wounds associated with diabetes and other non-healing wounds. Learn more about diabetic foot and wound care at the center.