Sugar Matters
September 7, 2010
Some great news from our trip…

Okay, so hopefully you all remember the medical trip I was blessed to be a part of in April this year, when I accompanied the Hopkins medical group in visiting several clinics around the island. You do recall, right? Part of that mission was to help institute protocols, standard ways to do things, in diabetes clinics with regard to screening for nerve damage in the feet.{{more}}

Just as a reminder, the main points were the following:

  •  Asking about symptoms in the feet like numbness, tingling, burning, pain, feet falling asleep, legs feeling “jumpy” at night or like ants crawling on the skin, etc.
  • Looking carefully at the feet for any damage in the skin, sores, cuts, abnormal bone structure/deformities, etc.
  • Touching the feet to see if there was numbness with even that level of testing.
  • Testing the underside of the feet (and above if necessary) with the specific small device called the monofilament.

Part of the purpose of the trip was to have protocols put into place so that every diabetic coming to a clinic would have a thorough screening for possible nerve damage. As it turned out, we have received news that several patients have been found to have nerve damage through these screenings, and they were referred to specialists. This is encouraging news that not only are the protocols for screenings being used, but that they are indeed working! It is very important first to diagnose nerve damage, because unless it is painful many people are actually not aware of it until they suffer an injury and wonder why they never felt any pain. When you are aware of the nerve damage, you can place extra care with your feet to prevent them from being injured. Second, after the diagnosis is made you can have specific treatments at times to help, for instance medications that may help with the painful kind of nerve damage.

This week on behalf of the entire mission team I would like to thank the dedicated nursing teams that have put these screening protocols to work! And we would also like to encourage all patients to remember this important aspect of your diabetes visits, and be sure to TAKE THOSE SHOES OFF SO YOUR DOCTORS AND NURSES CAN EXAMINE YOUR FEET!!!

Anita Ramsetty, MD [email protected]
Medical Director Endocrine Care Group
Tel: 843-798-4227