Ten steps to avoid diabetes-related amputation

By Admin Wednesday December 12 2012 in Opinion
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It’s estimated that as many as 75 per cent of all diabetes-related amputations are preventable. This is good news. With obesity and diabetes on the rise in the U.S., amputation among high-risk populations is a looming public health risk. In particular, the amputation rate among the African-American and Latino communities is much higher than in other populations.


Dr. Bill J. Releford is recognized internationally as a leader in the field of diabetic limb preservation and wound care. He uses platelet-rich plasma therapy to treat diabetic neuropathy, foot injuries and chronic non-healing wounds.


Dr. Releford is the founder of the Releford Foot and Ankle Institute, an organization dedicated to helping high-risk populations effectively reduced diabetes-related amputations in Los Angeles County.


Dr. Releford has released the following tips to help patients with diabetes prevent unnecessary amputations:


1. Do not smoke


2. Exercise daily


3. Control your cholesterol


4. Dry in between all toes after bathing


5. Always control your diabetes and blood pressure


6. Always wear shoes made from natural sources such as calfskin or soft leather


7. Never pull or pick skin from your feet


8. Eat at least five colours of fruits and vegetables every day


9. Never cut toenails or trim calluses if you have diabetes or poor circulation. See a podiatrist for routine foot care.


10. Never go barefoot if you have diabetes…even at home


“Simply by taking control of their health, managing their disease, and paying careful attention to their feet, patients with diabetes can significantly reduce the risk of amputation,” said Dr. Releford. “By distributing this list, I hope to remind anyone with diabetes that although amputation is a very real threat, it is one they can most likely avoid.”


Dr. Bill J. Releford, D.P.M., is a graduate of the Temple School of Podiatric Medicine in Philadelphia and recently received awards from the U.S. Association of Black Cardiologists and the Regional Black Chamber of Commerce for his contributions to public health. He is an assistant professor at Charles R. Drew University and lectures worldwide about the latest techniques in limb salvage and community-based outreach.


He is the author of the book Five Colors to Better Health and has been featured on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, ABC’s “The View” and in the Washington Post, Newsweek and the Los Angeles Times.


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