Posts for category: Diabetic Foot Care
Diabetic feet need special care because of decreased circulation, neuropathy, joint deterioration, and more. While your primary care physician may guide you on blood sugar control, medications, a healthy diet, and active lifestyle, your podiatrist assesses and treats how your feet and ankles function everyday and for the long term. Enlist their help in the health maintenance of your diabetic feet.
Keeping ahead of neuropathy and avoiding amputation
Those are two key goals of diabetic foot care. Your podiatrist will want to see you regularly to assess the color, temperature, sensation, function, and shape of your feet and ankles, noting any developing problems. Early detection of circulation issues, nerve degeneration (neuropathy), and deformities, such as hammertoes, bunions, and Charcot Foot, are key.
Your podiatric foot examination will include an eye-on inspection of your skin (color, temperature, texture, and integrity). Your foot doctor also may perform gait analysis to watch for changes in how you walk. Sometimes a podiatrist orders X-ray imaging or an MRI to view the internal structure of the foot and/or ankle.
Remember, that foot ulcers are the primary threat to the overall health and well-being of the diabetic, says the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). Untreated, they may lead to complications so severe amputation is the only option.
What can you do to treat your diabetic feet?
- Be proactive. Inspect your feet daily, looking redness or skin breakdown.
- Wash and dry your feet daily.
- Trim your toenails carefully using a clean clippers. Trim straight across and not too short to avoid ingrown toenails.
- Wear shoes at all times--even indoors--to avoid injury.
- Wear clean, well-fitting, moisture-wicking socks.
- Keep your weight and blood sugars within normal range.
- Get in-office treatment of calluses and corns, says the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.
- Avoid all forms of tobacco.
- Report any changes to your foot doctor as soon as possible.
- See your podiatrist every six months or as he or she directs.
Healthy feet and a healthy you
Podiatric health is so important, but especially to the diabetic. So stay in touch with your foot doctor, and be routinized in your foot care for better long-term health.
One of the most common types of aliment we see at Advanced Foot and Ankle Care is diabetes. While it is common knowledge that diabetes can cause foot issues or make existing issues worse, many diabetics do not realize how much diabetes can affect your feet. Diabetes can cause neuropathy, which dulls the feeling to your feet. This can lead to cuts or open wounds on the feet going unnoticed. These cuts or wounds can then get infected. Due to poor circulation in the feet, it can take a lot for these infections to heal.
Along this same idea, we encourage people with diabetes to always cut their toenails straight across. We offer nail trims for our diabetic patients as a way to help make sure that their nails do not become ingrown and that no nicks or cuts occur that could lead to an infection. We also take care of calluses. Our diabetic patients are more prone to calluses as they often have high pressure areas on the bottom of the foot.
If you are or someone you know suffers from diabetes, and you do not have a podiatrist, please give our office a call. Our doctors will work with you and your primary doctor to make sure that your feet are taken care of.
Neuropathy is a common complication for those with diabetes. It is caused by damage to the nerves of the body due to high blood sugar levels. Since the nerves that go to the foot are some of the longest in the body, these are particularly affected by this condition. Signs of diabetic neuropathy include pain, tingling, or numbness to the foot. Due to lack of sensation in the foot, injuries can easily go unnoticed and lead to severe complications.
Check your feet at least once a day for any injuries. Check the entire foot, even between the toes. If you have trouble doing this by yourself, try using a mirror or ask a family member for help. Make sure to see your podiatrist if you notice any sores on the bottom of your feet.
Make sure to wash and then thoroughly dry your feet daily. Drying your feet is important to prevent the growth of the fungus that can cause athlete’s foot. Use lotion on your feet if they are especially dry, but skip the area between the toes to prevent foot fungus. Always wear socks with shoes, and change them during the day if you find your feet can get very sweaty. Your podiatrist may want to see you at regular intervals throughout the year to make sure your feet are healthy; if so, make sure you keep these important appointments.