Welcome to the Fit2Walk blog! We want this website to be a resource for you to keep you and your feet happy and healthy. There is a lot written about diabetes these days, online and offline, and I hope to continue this dynamic exchange of information here at Fit2Walk.
For the first post (my first blog post ever), I thought it would be most appropriate to introduce myself. I am Dr. Thomas Hardiman, aka Dr. Tom. I am a podiatrist as well as a certified wound specialist and the Medical Director of Fit2Walk.
I believe teaching people about their health and foot care is the most significant part of my job. In fact, the word “doctor” derives from the Latin word docere, meaning “to teach.” Having the opportunity to impart information and knowledge is a privilege and I love the teaching moments that I share with my patients, explaining signs and symptoms, discussing diagnoses, and reviewing options and treatment plans. I encourage my patients to ask questions about their foot conditions and their health. I am also grateful to everything I have learned from my patients over the past 30 years in practice.
As a podiatrist, my passion has always been preventing lower extremity amputations in people with diabetes. The medical literature tells us that up to 85% of all lower extremity amputations are preventable with proper education, foot care, screening and proper footwear.
The greatest risk factor preceding foot ulcers and amputations is diabetic neuropathy, a very common complication that will affect the majority of people with diabetes. Despite the prevalence of neuropathy, many people are still not aware of this condition! In a study commissioned by the American Diabetes Association, 56% of people with diabetes reported no knowledge of neuropathy. Of those with neuropathy in the study, only 25% had been formally diagnosed by a healthcare professional.
This teaching moment is what inspired me to found Fit2Walk. We as health care providers have not done a good enough job in teaching our diabetic patients about neuropathy and how care for themselves and their feet. Nothing is obvious to the uninformed and what you do not know can hurt you. But we are going to change that with your help!
I am so excited to see what we can achieve as a community as we move forward on this foot care journey together. In future blogs, I will be discussing topics such as how to select the proper walking program, picking out the right shoe, safety concerns while walking, and more. I will also be giving you opportunities to reach out to me with comments, questions and suggestions as well.
Here’s to taking steps to diabetic foot health!