Frank Dietl, 76, claims Dr. Mehmet Oz’s “knapsack heated rice footsie” left him debilitated instead of energized as promised. The technique encouraged viewers to fill the toes of a pain of socks with uncooked rice, warm it mildly in the microwave, and then slip them on before sleeping. Dr. Oz specifically mentions that one should not get the socks too hot in the microwave before trying the technique. Dietl went forward with the technique in the way that he thought he should, and wound up with third degree burns on his feet.
How could this have happened? Didn’t Dietl feel that the rice was too hot and burning his feet? Shockingly, no- Dietl suffers from diabetic neuropathy, and didn’t feel the burning sensation due to numbness in his feet.
Dietl’s lawsuit alleges that Dr. Oz is at fault for not providing a warning specific to viewers suffering from diabetic neuropathy. Dietl claims he didn’t realize how hot the socks were until he got up in the middle of the night and tried to walk. His lawyer could not specify how long Dietl left the rice-filled socks in the microwave.
“Anyone suffering from diabetes should be especially careful with their extremities”
Dr. Weinert adds “I’ve met with and spoken to Dr. Oz, and I believe the advice he gave on his show to be sound. Anyone with diabetes has been informed multiple times that they need to be especially careful with their feet due to neuropathy, and that they should exercise caution and test hot or cold material before exposing their feet to it. Your mother told you not to touch a hot stove; do we then need to be told not to touch a hot stove at a restaurant as well?”
Neuropathy can lead to a wide range of problems in the lower extremities. Nerve damage can decrease your blood flow, and because feet and ankle are the farthest limbs from your heart, blood circulation problems are common. Dr. Weinert suggests performing exercises specific to your feet, ankles and even your toes on a daily basis to increase circulation.
Individuals with diabetic neuropathy also commonly report dry cracked skin on their feet, which combine with the loss of sensitivity to create a dangerous situation out of even the slightest cuts and scrapes. Because the feet are numb, bacterial and fungal infections can spread rapidly and create serious damage; daily personal examinations of the feet are necessary for early detection and prevention.
“An estimated seven in 10 diabetes patients have nerve damage that impairs feeling in their feet” says Weinert. “Each year more than 86,000 amputations are performed as a direct result of complications due to diabetic neuropathy. With proper foot care and education on how neuropathy affects the feet, we can prevent foot loss and serious damage.”
Dr. Weinert recommends these precautions to decrease risk of damage to the feet for individuals with diabetic neuropathy:
-Keep your blood sugar under control to help minimize cardiovascular and circulatory problems.
-Examine your feet daily, looking for small cuts and wounds you may not feel.
-Never walk barefoot, outdoors or indoors.
-Cut nails carefully- straight across and not too short.
-Never trim corns or calluses yourself.
-Lose weight, don’t smoke, and adhere to a prescribed dietary, medical and exercise regime.
-Wash your feet daily in lukewarm water, drying carefully.
-Wear clean, dry, non-bulky socks and change them daily.
-Shake pebbles or bits of gravel out of your shoes before wearing.
-Choose comfortable shoes with adequate room for your toes.
-Never expose your feet to prolonged heat or cold.
-Seek treatment from a foot and ankle surgeon for cuts and sore spots that don’t seem to be healing.
For more information on diabetic foot conditions, contact Dr. Weinert’s office in Troy at 248-362-3338 or his Warren office at 586-751-3338. You can also get more information on his website at www.stopfeetpainfast.com, where you can also request a copy of his book Stop Feet Pain Fast.
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