November is National Diabetes Awareness month and HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital’s Center for Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine is offering tips to manage foot ulcers if you are diabetic.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, an estimated 30.3 million people in the United States have diabetes, including 7.2 million who are unaware they are living with the disease. The percentage of adults with diabetes increases with age, reaching a high of 25.2 percent among those aged 65 years or older. In addition to age, risk factors for diabetes include diet, activity level, obesity and heredity. High blood sugar levels, poor circulation, immune systems issues, nerve damage and infection may contribute to a diabetic foot ulcer.

“With America’s diabetic population expected to nearly double by 2030, it is important that our community understands the risks and know the facts associated with diabetic foot ulcers,” said Toni McCutcheon, program director, HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital’s Center for Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine. “It’s estimated that approximately 25 percent of people living with diabetes will develop a foot ulcer and that 14 to 24 percent of people with foot ulcers will experience an amputation. The key is prevention.”

Early detection and intervention can help to mitigate the possibility of limb loss. HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital’s Center for Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine recommends the following to help prevent diabetic foot ulcers:

• Stop smoking immediately.
• Have comprehensive foot examinations each time you visit your health care provider.
• Inspect your feet daily, or have a family member perform the inspection.
• Take regular care of the feet including cleaning your toenails and taking care of corns and calluses.
• Choose supportive, proper shoes and socks.
• Take steps to improve your circulation – eat healthier and exercise on a regular basis.

HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital’s Center for Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine offers a number of leading-edge treatments to heal diabetic foot ulcers, including total contact casting, negative pressure wound therapy and hyperbaric oxygen therapy. These specialized therapies can aid in wound closure, new tissue growth, wound tissue regeneration and much more.

Call 715-717-4395 in Eau Claire or 715-717-7657 in Chippewa Falls to schedule an appointment if you have a diabetic foot ulcer or a wound that won’t heal.

Media Contact

Karen Kraus

Communications Department
HSHS Wisconsin
Office: (715) 717-4591
Cell: (715) 717-4747
Karen.Kraus@hshs.org

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