Annual Diabetes Campaign

The Illinois Podiatric Medical Association Kicks Off Annual Diabetes Campaign

Chicago, IL. - This November and December, the lllinois Podiatric Medical Association, the American Diabetes Association, and the lllinois Department of Human Services Diabetes Control Program will once again launch its "Foot Care Aware" program. The "Foot Care Aware" program is a free foot-screening program for people with diabetes to help diagnose nerve damage and reduce their risk of lower extremity amputations.

About 60 to 70 percent of people with diabetes have mild to severe forms of nerve damage.

Each year about 2,500 lllinois residents lose a foot or leg due to diabetes costing as much as $77.9 million in related healthcare expenses, physical therapy, lost wages, etc. More than half of these amputations could have been prevented with proper foot care.

The "Foot Care Aware" program will be held during the months of November and December. During this time, podiatrists throughout the state will provide free foot screenings to people with diabetes who are not currently under the care of a podiatric physician.

If you have diabetes, the IPMA offers the following tips for taking care of your feet:

  • Visually inspect the feet daily and look for any sores, blisters, signs of infection or changes in your feet.
  • Cut toenails straight across, never cut into the corners or taper, which could trigger an ingrown toenail. Use an emery board to gently file away sharp corners.
  • Do not check the temperature of water in a bathtub with your feet. Your feet may not sense that the water is too hot and you could sustain a serious burn.
    Test the water with your elbow instead.
  • Always wear properly fitting shoes to prevent injury and protect your feet.
  • All individuals with diabetes should have a thorough foot examination by a podiatric physician at least once a year to identify any high-risk foot conditions.

For a referral for a free foot-screening, call the lllinois Diabetes Control Program at 1-800-323-4769, or the lllinois Podiatric Medical Association at 1-888-869-FEET (3338) or (312) 427-5810.

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