November is Diabetes Awareness Month and University Surgical Associates is “going blue” on Nov. 14 - World Diabetes Day - to draw attention to "this serious and often unrecognized condition that is a major cause of disability and death for people in the Chattanooga region."
"Diabetes is a major health issue that is threatening lives across the country and in our community," officials said. "Although the thought of heart attack and stroke is scary, diabetes is known to double the risk for heart disease in men and triple the risk in women! In Hamilton County alone, approximately 55,000 people are living with this dangerous condition, and the incidence of diabetes is expected to double in the next 20 years. What’s more, many people don’t understand how serious the healthcare complications of diabetes and diabetic foot ulcers can be."
“Foot ulcers are the leading cause of non-traumatic lower extremity amputations in the U.S., and diabetics with a foot ulcer have a 60% likelihood of becoming infected, increasing the risk of amputation,” says Michael Greer, M.D., USA vascular surgeon. “Diabetic foot complications can result in devastating economic crises for the patient, their families, and society. Both economic and non-economic costs, such as job loss, poor quality of life and loss of productivity are significant factors.”
"Numbness and poor circulation cause patients not to experience pain associated with a foot ulcer or sore. Without pain, they often don’t realize the serious nature of the problem or seek help in time to save their foot or leg," officials said.
“We are seeing too many foot problems and needless amputations, mostly due to patients not being aware of how serious this problem can be or having no access to health care,” says Dr. Greer. “It’s a priority for our practice to educate patients, healthcare providers and other community members about ways to more effectively control the effects of diabetes and to invest the time and resources to prevent needless amputations and disability associated with diabetic foot disease in our community.”
For more information about vascular services available at University Surgical Associates or to schedule an appointment, call 423-267-0466.