Why Endocrinologists Ask To See Our Feet…


It’s almost insulting, right? There you are, an adult, being asked to take your shoes off for a foot exam. This was always puzzling as a kid, leaving me thinking, “Yo Doc, if I had a foot ulcer or something, don’t you think I’d know?” But nevertheless, I always take my shoes off–hoping I have on matching socks and my feet are tolerable in scent–and let the endo do his or her cursory 3 second glance, eventually sliding my socks back on to a good report.

So, turns out diabetes foot ulcers are pretty common (5% of all people with diabetes develop a foot ulcer each year). No, this is not turning into a complications talk. What I do hope to accomplish though, is the why behind the office visit foot check, saving a few endos attitude from us.

Okay, here’s the why behind the foot checks:
People who get a diabetic foot ulcer, don’t even know they have an ulcer… unless they see it. 

With 50% of people with diabetes having neuropathy too (okay, I’m sorry for another mention of the complication stuff), that means 50% of people with diabetes have decreased sensations. Those 50% may not feel the sharp object (rock, thorn, or nail) in their shoe. How said object found its way into the shoe remains a mystery unsolvable in the endo’s office.

So, next time, before answering with the usual, “Doc, if I had a foot ulcer or something, don’t you think I’d know?”, give them a break and assume that they’re just playing the numbers (50% with neuropathy) and don’t take it personal. ‘Cause if I did have a wound down there, perhaps I would like to know.

If this was all information that you already know and would like something more entertaining to ready, here you go.


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