Ways to Reduce Your Risk Of A Diabetes-Related Amputation
Diabetes-related foot problems can cause complications that can lead to a non-healing wound, infection and sometimes amputation. Research shows that the rate of amputations can be reduced by as much as 50% with proper education along with proper lifestyle changes. As The founder of the Releford Foot and Ankle Institute, I am dedicated to reducing diabetes-related amputations in a high-risk population both domestically as well as internationally. I do this by providing comprehensive wound care and limb salvage services.
I’m a podiatric surgeon based in Los Angeles that has over 30 years experience in preventing diabetes-related amputations. I ’ve developed several therapies including my patented Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) based therapy to manage foot complications. It is a non-surgical therapy that uses a concentrated amount of my patient’s own platelet-derived growth factors. Using this form of regenerative medicine has significantly reduced the number of patients suffering from chronic non-healing wounds as well as diabetic nerve pain. This approach has decreased the number of people that actually progress to needing a major amputation.
Additionally, I utilize a multi-disciplinary approach to wound care and limb salvage. I incorporate the knowledge and expertise from infectious disease, vascular surgery, nutrition as well as internal medicine specialists.
Statistics show that the majority of amputations recorded in the United States yearly, half of them are caused by diabetes. In 2010, 73,000 American adults with diabetes experienced amputation. African-Americans have a 5 times rate of amputation than Native-Americans, according to a study by Northwestern University’s School of Medicine. The disproportionate number of African Americans experiencing amputation is in part due to racial bias in the health care delivery system where African Americans are less likely to be offered limb-saving procedures.
I also apply a unique Zen approach to amputation prevention in African-Americans. Zen is a state of being that targets the mind, body, and soul. Physical exercise, proper eating habits, prayer, meditation, and health education are practices that I encourage my patients to add to managing their diabetes. “I’ve found that patients that have a positive outlook, as well as a positive mindset, tend to do much better than other patients”.
Diabetic foot complications can be treated and managed by incorporating a multi-pronged strategy. I’m helping patients by reinforcing the mind, body and soul techniques.
Because of the disproportionate number of African Americans experiencing lower-extremity amputation, I founded The Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program in 2007 as part of my cause to reduce amputation rates in this high-risk segment.
The program has screened over 30,000 men for diabetes and high blood pressure across the country. For more information about this program, visit www.blackbarbershop.org.