Stillman and Friedland are your partners in getting the best financial recovery from your accident. That’s the money side of helping you recover from trauma and financial loss. We also give you information so that you can be an even better partner with your medical professionals. Doing your part to work toward physical recovery means that you minimize pain and suffering after treatment.
One of the biggest problems for Tennesseans these days is coping with the effects of pre-diabetes and diabetes. Diabetic complications are an obstacle to complete recovery in many ways. When you are diabetic, healing can be much slower or incomplete. Diabetes costs can strain your wallet too—in more ways than one. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA):
- Total direct medical expenses for diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetes, prediabetes and gestational diabetes in Tennessee was estimated at $4.9 billion in 2012.
- In addition, another $1.7 billion was spent on indirect costs from lost productivity due to diabetes.
The ADA also found that government initiatives for diabetes research and prevention cost taxpayers approximately $45 million in 2015-16. As you can see in the direct medical expenses estimate, while figures are not up-to-date, the incidence of Type II diabetes and its costs are increasing.
On the positive side, limb amputation for patients with lower limb ulcers has decreased by 50% due to better treatment. However, the overall rate of developing diabetic sores has increased, especially in older patients, which means that the number of amputations is actually increasing. Even with better treatment, we are not stemming the tide of increasing amputations.
In fact, according to one study published in 2017, limb amputations due to diabetes now account for 75% of all lower limb amputation in the U.S. With Tennessee in the top 5 states for incidence of diabetes, we want to share helpful preventive information with our fellow Tennesseans.
Be proactive: If you have diabetes, you need to monitor your limb health. The Cleveland Clinic has great information to help you keep ahead of this complication of diabetes. This is something you can share with your PCP or nurse practitioner to help you avoid the serious complications of limb ulcers.
An even simpler, more direct patient guide to handling diabetic limb care is provided here and lists five basic steps you need to keep lower limbs healthy. We have simplified these to four points for easy reference:
- Medical Screening: Partner with your doctor to stay on top of your condition. Your PCP should know and use the “Simplified 60 Second Diabetic Foot Screening Tool”. A skin temperature assessment is also important. This is something you can do easily and quickly at home with a regular thermometer. Reduced skin temperature indicates reduced circulation, and is a warning flag. Let your PCP know if you have persistent reduced temperature in a particular spot.
- Quit Smoking: Smokers have an increased risk of limb amputations and poor overall healing, including poor surgical prognoses. If you have had an injury, your best bet is to quit smoking to improve your ability to heal. Find a resource for help and support; your insurance or employer probably will pay for a smoking cessation program.
- Footwear: Comfortable footwear which allows for optimal circulation is so important. Find out if protective shoes are subsidized through your health insurance, and take advantage of the benefits you have.
- Monitor and Lower Blood Glucose: Here we differ with the advice given by pharmaceutical companies. Their advice is to make everyone has enough insulin and other drugs. Controlling blood glucose by insulin and other meds alone without reducing sugar and starch intake is the road to increased medications for proliferating conditions. You cannot keep eating a high-carbohydrate diet and use medication to mop up the problems. A problem for diabetics is that they are insulin-resistant, so that insulin is limited in its ability to drive sugar out of the bloodstream and into the cells. Therefore, the only way to really get blood sugar under control is to reduce carbohydrate consumption.
Reducing your sugar and starch intake—not just continually increasing your meds—is the key to better health if you are diabetic or pre-diabetic. How can you get a jump start on a low-carb healthy New Year? We like the resources available at DietDoctor.com. There is a great discussion just published on how to get motivated and achieve your health goals for 2019 and beyond. Have a look here for great tips and advice. The site has lots of inspirational and practical content to help keep you on track, and get you back on track (because we are all human).
Results are pretty immediate, which means you will have to monitor your blood sugar to avoid overuse of insulin. Work with a PCP who is open to this method of blood sugar control.
Many people have kicked Type II diabetes using Diet Doctor’s content, which is all offered by certified medical and nutritional professionals. They do have some info behind a paywall, but there is more than enough free content to get you started and to maintain your goals. It helps to know that you are not alone in coping with these issues, and that if others succeeded, you can too!
For a better year, Stillman and Friedland hope that you will take the advice of the professionals we have cited and have a year of health, wellness and wholeness,
Because we care…