MARQUETTE–According to the Centers for Disease Control and Protection, more than twenty-nine million Americans suffer from diabetes. And one in every four people with diabetes doesn’t know they have it.

Doctor Conway McLean gave a presentation on Wednesday called, Care of the Diabetic Foot’ at the Peter White Public Library. McLean is the director of Superior Foot and Ankle Centers at the Peninsula Medical Building in Marquette. He says diabetes is epidemic in our society and most diabetics suffer some kind of a foot issue, which could lead to amputation if the problem is not addressed.

“Eighty-five percent of all amputations are preventable. One of the biggest things that we can do, the most important steps we can take is to educate people about what they need to do to take care of their feet,” said Dr. McLean.

Having diabetes can cause neuropathy, the ability to feel pain. McLean says symptoms of neuropathy typically show up after five to seven years of dealing with the condition.

“There are no bells, alarms going off that you have this problem and yet this can allow you to be unaware of some minor insult or trauma to the skin that can lead to infection,” said Dr. McLean.

If you have diabetes and are worried about your feet, McLean says one of the best things you can do is see a podiatrist.