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The Dish on Diabetes

One out of ten people in the United States has Diabetes and an estimated 8.5 million adults are undiagnosed diabetics.

What is Diabetes, exactly? In non-medical terms diabetes is a condition where the sugar (glucose) levels in the blood has risen to an unhealthy level. This happens because the body’s glucose carrier, Insulin, cannot effectively move enough of it into the cells.

What causes Diabetes? Insulin is made by the Pancreas and there are 3 scenarios that can cause Diabetes:

  • No (zero) Insulin production (Type 1 Diabetes)

  • Insufficient Insulin production (Type 2 Diabetes)

  • Insulin produced is not as effective (Type 2 Diabetes) Lets just say if the experience in a big-box pharmacy is like One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, getting your vaccine at Sewall's Point Pharmacy & Compounding is As Good As It Gets.

It's Complicated… Taking care of diabetes can seem complicated – because it is. Diabetes can affect almost every part of your body and not in a good way. It is a lifelong disease that if not managed precisely can lead to long-term complications that are life-shattering.

Why is foot health so important for diabetics? Over time uncontrolled diabetes can cause reduced blood flow and damage to blood vessels and nerves in the arms, hands, legs and feet. This damage causes feeling in these extremities to decline significantly. The reduced sensation to touch along with decrease in blood flow to bring nutrients to extremities can cause trivial injuries of the foot (minor cut or bruises) to turn into severe sores and ulcers that require hospitalization and possibly amputation.

How does Diabetic Footwear help? Studies suggest extra depth diabetic shoes and custom diabetic inserts can help prevent serious foot health complications that can arise because of diabetes. Medicare has outlined specific standards and criteria in order for shoes and inserts to be considered therapeutic that they will cover. Some of the benefits of these custom shoes are:

  • Reduce callus formation

  • Prevent skin breakdown

  • Reduce pressure and promote circulation

  • Reinforced toe protection

  • Customized specifically for your feet

The Dollars & Sense:

  1. Is it covered by my insurance? Medicare coves 80% of the price for qualified individuals

  2. What is the retail cost of Diabetic Footwear? Typically custom inserts and 1 pair of shoes can be $500 and up.

  3. What is the potential cost of foot wounds/feet in poor health? It is estimated medicare pays $33k-$50k per individual annually for care of diabetic foot ulcers and amputations.

Sources Accessed March 15, 2022:

*The statements listed are provided for educational purposes only. They have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information listed is not to be interpreted as a promise, guarantee or claim of therapeutic efficacy or safety. The information contained herein is not intended to replace or substitute for conventional medical care, or encourage its abandonment.*

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