The podiatry team at Gifford Health Care will provide free foot screenings by appointment during a series of five sessions throughout the summer. Open to all Gifford and non-Gifford patients, the screenings will take place at the following central Vermont locations:
- June 20 at Chelsea Health Center (canceled)
- June 26 at Gifford Health Center at Berlin-Specialty Care
- July 2 at Rochester Health Center
- July 11 at Sharon Health Center
- Aug. 29 at Gifford Specialty Care in Randolph
Foot screenings are recommended for those who are pre-diabetic, diabetic, or experiencing foot pain or numbness. During the screenings, Gifford providers will test patients’ blood-glucose levels; examine skin condition, sensitivity, and bone structure of feet; and suggest proper footwear or follow-up recommendations.
The Society for Vascular Surgery and the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) recommend annual foot screenings for diabetics over age 50. “In the United States, the most common cause of peripheral neuropathy [damage to the nerves that travel to our arms and legs] is diabetes,” the APMA reports. “According to the American Diabetes Association, 60 to 70 percent of people with diabetes will develop neuropathy within their lifetime.”
Other causes of nerve damage include acute injury, medications, heredity, infections, advanced age, arthritis, alcoholism, and neurological disorders.