Diabetes Awareness | APMA
Diabetes Awareness

Keep Your Appointment. Keep Your Feet.

For Patients

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, podiatrists have seen some of the sickest patients of their careers—but these patients are not suffering from COVID. Instead, concerned about exposure to the virus, these patients have avoided regular appointments for preventive care or injuries, and as a result, they have severe diabetic foot wounds, infections, and in some cases even gangrene. Podiatrists are performing more amputations and often treating patients at risk of sepsis, a life-threatening systemic infection.

Patients with diabetes are at high risk from COVID-19 and should take precautions such as wearing a mask, limiting opportunities for exposure, and maintaining social distance. But APMA member podiatrists strongly encourage all patients, and especially those with diabetes, to keep up with their medical appointments.

Medical facilities are following strict protocols to protect health-care providers and patients, including requiring masks and social distance in waiting rooms and implementing disinfection procedures between patients. If you are concerned, ask your podiatrist’s office about how they will keep you safe and about the possibility of telehealth appointments.

Here are more steps to maintain control over your diabetes during the pandemic:

  • Stay Active. Get proper nutrition and exercise. Consider physical activity a prescription to be taken daily!
  • Stay Alert. Track your daily blood sugar levels and your A1C. Perform daily foot exams (a caregiver or family member can help) to look for any changes to your feet, including color, temperature, and even minor injuries such as scratches and scrapes. Protect your feet with shoes even around the house to avoid injuries.
  • Stay in Contact. Keep up with all appointments with your diabetes care team and reach out to your podiatrist immediately if you notice a wound, injury, or other changes to your feet.

Regular care to maintain your foot health and overall health is essential, particularly in light of the pandemic. Don’t neglect your regular care out of fear of COVID-19. Keep your appointment, and keep your feet!

More information for people with diabetes: 

  • An Overview: What is diabetes? What is peripheral neuropathy? What is a diabetic foot ulcer?
  • How Diabetes Affects Your Health: Watch this short video to learn how diabetes can affect your overall health.
  • How Diabetes Affects Your Feet: Check out this video on peripheral neuropathy, or nerve damage in the feet, as a result of diabetes. 
  • Diabetes Footwear and Products: View our podiatrist-approved products for managing and treating diabetes.
  • Learn from our experts: APMA spokesperson Jane Andersen, DPM, joined the Association of Diabetes Care and Education Specialists' podcast, The Huddle, speaking on the importance of diabetes care by a podiatrist. Listen here! APMA Trustee David Alper, DPM, shared his advice with a patient in an interview produced by the American Diabetes Association. 
  • Join the Conversation: Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to hear more about topics related to diabetes and foot health year-round. Don't forget to mention APMA or use the hashtags #KeepYourAppointment #KeepYourFeet!

For APMA Members, State Components, and Affiliated Organizations

Individual members and practices can make use of the resources in our digital toolkit to promote their expertise and educate current and prospective patients. These downloadable resources include social media posts, a press release, a feature story, social media graphics and logos, a tip sheet, physician referral letter, and a special edition of Footprints.

Note: Members in New York should contact NYSPMA Executive Director Dan Kline for materials customized to your needs.

Download Digital Tool Kit

New Diabetes Papers in JAPMA

Additional Diabetes and Foot Health Resources

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