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13 WTHR Indianapolis | Indianapolis Local News & Weather

Check Up 13: Diabetes and foot check

To help prevent serious health complications associated with diabetes and prediabetes, WTHR is partnering with St. Vincent to offer free foot exams and screenings for diabetes.

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - If you're an adult with an open, swollen or painful foot wound, or a callous or bunion that doesn't seem normal, this month's Check Up 13 is for you.

Doctors say patients too often delay getting a professional opinion. And the risk can be even more dangerous if you have diabetes.

While diabetes currently has no cure, it can often be managed through physical activity, diet, and the appropriate use of insulin and other medications to control blood sugar levels. However, if not caught early or controlled, diabetes can lead to serious health complications including premature death, vision loss, heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, and amputation of toes, feet, or legs.

This is why it's so important to take action and get tested.

"If they sit on this for even weeks, they can get very, very infected, get into the bone...and then that is very difficult to treat with just antibiotics alone, and then that usually becomes a surgical problem then that leads to the hospitalization, the amputation and then it just becomes a downward spiral after that," Dr. Christopher Winters explained. He's a podiatrist with St. Vincent. "They may lose a toe, a half a foot, a leg, and a life ultimately, so they can't delay."

Are you at risk of developing diabetes? Simple tests can help you find out. For this month's Check Up 13, we're partnering with the St. Vincent Wound Care Center to offer free foot checks and tests to detect warning signs of diabetes and circulation problems.

Who should participate in this screening?

  • If you are an adult with an open, swollen or painful foot wound or a callous or bunion that doesn't seem normal, you should consider signing up for a free foot exam and test for diabetes.
  • It's important not to delay in getting care for a foot wound-especially one that is open, swollen, painful or abnormal-as it may be a warning sign of something serious, like diabetes. Many sit on such injuries for days or weeks. Unfortunately, some who act too late may end up having to get procedures or surgeries for more advanced problems. However, if troubling symptoms are caught early, there's a good chance clinical teams can help to prevent hospitalization or amputation.
  • If something doesn't look normal or feel right, even if it's a callous or a bunion, you might want to get it checked out by a clinician.
  • Reduce your risk and sign up to get tested.

A free screening is available in Indianapolis and Kokomo.

You can sign up by calling the Check Up 13 Hotline at (1-866) U-CHECK-13 (824-3251) from 8 a.m. - 7 p.m. Tuesday. You can also register online through midnight.