KODE Medical Focus: Diabetes and foot health


JOPLIN, Mo. — A diagnosis of diabetes can often affect much more than your blood sugar. It could be your weight or vision, and often affects the health of your feet.

“I had a sore blister on my toe, and it just wouldn’t heal. And we ended up having to take the toe,” said Mark Rains, Diabetic Amputee.

Just the start of a painful few years for Mark Rains.

“I thought that was the worst thing in the world I was losing my, my toe,” said Rains.

But it would get worse.

His diabetes factored into an infection, the amputation of his left leg, and more recently the amputation of his right leg. Rains blames a poor diet and lack of exercise, which he sees as a cautionary tale.

“I know there’s people – they watch their diabetic numbers. Because of me, they don’t want to be like me,” said Rains.

Diabetic patients are at higher risk since blood sugar issues affect circulation.

“Peripheral neuropathy which is nerve pain. So if blood sugars are high, we don’t get the circulation that we need in our blood vessels, and then our nerves can get damaged,” said Holly Toney, RN, Diabetes Educator.

So what starts as a cut or blister can quickly escalate. Prevention relies on two things: check your feet daily.

“Then keeping your blood sugar in Target or under control,” said Toney.

If you find any issues, seek help.

“So if you have any redness, any concern on your feet, I want you to let your doctor know immediately,” said Toney.

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