All You Need to Know About Diabetic Shoes
Diabetes is a chronic disease that afflicts many people. It affects many parts of the body including the feet. Diabetes affects the ability of the body to heal due to poor circulation, stiffens the joints, and causes nerve damage which is also referred to as peripheral neuropathy. These factors make the feet particularly prone to damage. Due to the peripheral neuropathy, it is hard for you to detect injuries to your feet because you do not feel the pain. If you couple that with the inability of the body to heal itself properly, you can understand why the infection spreads easily which ultimately leads to amputation. Ulcers can also develop on your feet when too much pressure causes the skin to break. These foot ulcers are common in diabetics. If you are diabetic, you have to protect your feet. Diabetic shoes are useful in this regard.
What are Diabetic Shoes?
Diabetic shoes, which are also referred to as sugar shoes, are specially made shoes that are meant to mitigate skin breakdown and other diabetes-related complications that may arise. These therapeutic shoes are strictly prescribed by a doctor. The shoes aid in maintaining healthy circulation in the feet. Nerve damage changes the shape of your feet and makes the normal shoes uncomfortable. The diabetic shoes help in avoiding such changes while maintaining a good level of comfort.
Types of Diabetic Shoes
Where can you obtain diabetic shoes?
If you have diabetes, you need to talk to a specialist concerning this matter. You should not go out shopping on your own. An expert eye is important here. The specialists involved in therapeutic shoes are:
- Pedorthist: modifies shoes for therapeutic reasons
- Orthotist: designs and makes diabetic shoes
Other professionals who deal with these shoes are prosthetists and podiatrists. Once you have the prescription, buy the shoes from well-known stores and brands to ensure that you get the correct shoes. You should also look for the codes A5500 and A5501 which are provided under the American Medical Association’s Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System. They signify that the shoes you are buying are actually diabetic.
Are Diabetic Shoes covered by Medicare?
In 1993 Congress passed the Therapeutic Shoe Bill which requires Medicare Part B to help cover the costs of specially designed shoes, shoe modifications and orthotic inserts for qualified diabetes patients.
The CDC announced that over the next decade diabetes-related amputations declined by about 65%. It worked! Preventative foot care combined with improved glucose testing technology played a major role in this stark reversal. Numbness, tingling, or foot pain can be symptoms of serious complications so it is vital to educate and evaluate diabetic patients, even before those symptoms arise. Foot care education for a diabetic patient should be included with other educational materials when first diagnosed. Medicare covers the cost of a pair of diabetic shoes as long as they are prescribed by a Doctor who is enrolled in Medicare. You should also ensure that the seller is enrolled in Medicare.
When you have diabetes, you need to be extremely careful with your feet. You need to protect them and constantly check them to ensure that they are in perfect condition. If you witness discomfort or simply want to take precaution to protect your feet, you need diabetic shoes. However, ensure that you obtain them after they have been prescribed to you by a specialist.
*The author of this blog is not a medical professional and this article does not contain professional medical advice. This blog is not intended to substitute for medical advice, treatment, or diagnosis. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of the contents of this article. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call 911 immediately.