The Diabetes Limb Wellness Program at Braden Diabetes Center

The goal of the Braden Diabetes Center is to help our patients live a healthy, active life with diabetes. Our program includes education, preventive strategies, and self-management training to help you understand diabetes, make healthy choices, and confidently manage your blood sugar in any situation. However, diabetes has its complications, and it is essential that we work with our patients to treat every aspect of the condition, including diabetes-related foot issues.

  • Diabetic foot complications are one of the most common conditions in patients with diabetes
  • Between 19% and 34% of all persons with diabetes are likely to be affected by a diabetic foot ulcer in their lifetime
  • People with diabetes make up about half of all hospital admissions for amputations, most occurring after foot ulceration

What Is Diabetic Neuropathy?

Somewhere between 60% and 70% of people with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes eventually develop peripheral neuropathy, a type of nerve damage caused by chronically high blood sugar. Overtime, the damaged nerves are no longer able to effectively transmit messages between the brain and other parts of the body.

Symptoms of Diabetic Neuropathy

Diabetes-related nerve damage has a variety of symptoms and affects everyone differently. Symptoms may include:

  • Numbness
  • Tingling, or a feeling of “pins and needles”
  • Prickling of pinching
  • A sensation of burning or cold
  • Sharp, stabbing pain
  • Cramping
  • Heightened touch sensitivity
  • Muscle weakness–you may find it harder to walk, get up from a chair, or grip objects
  • Balance problems

The consequences of not addressing neuropathy symptoms can be dangerous and even life-threatening. You are more likely to injure yourself if you cannot feel heat, cold, or pain in your feet, legs, or hands. You may not notice a blister from an ill-fitting shoe. You could get a cut or sore on your foot and not even know it’s there. Untreated, such lesions can lead to ulcers and infections which heal very slowly due to poor blood flow. This can lead to amputation and even death.

Podiatry Care at Braden Diabetes Center

At first, patients may not notice initially subtle changes caused by diabetic neuropathy. Some delay talking to their doctor because they think their symptoms are due to aging. What’s more, because people with diabetes often have multiple health issues, diabetic neuropathy symptoms may be wrongly attributed to a cause other than diabetes. That’s why it makes sense to treat diabetic foot issues in a specialized facility like Braden Diabetes Center, where the patients, physicians, nurses, nutritionists, and medical technicians are all focused on one thing: Helping you manage diabetes and its complications.

In collaboration with Bay Area Foot Care, the Braden Diabetes Center offers podiatry care specifically tailored to diabetes patients who are at high risk of dangerous foot issues such as ulceration. Our onsite podiatrist provides podiatry screening and basic podiatry services. The program is open to all patients living with diabetes, whether they are currently MarinHealth patients or not. MarinHealth providers can easily refer you our limb wellness program through our MyChart app.