Dakota Foot & Ankle Clinic Blog
Posts for category: diabetes
Are you Diabetic and want to avoid foot problems? Here are a few steps to take to prevent getting a blister which could turn into a sore with an infection that could eventually end with your foot or leg getting amputated!
· Check out your feet every morning and night. What are you looking for? Anything that wasn’t there before. It may be a cut, some redness, or swelling. If you notice anything, call Dr. Gale.
· Wash your feet in warm water and be gentle when washing. It is best to wash with a soft washcloth or a sponge and dry by patting or blotting. Don’t forget to dry between your toes!
· Use moisturizer on your feet daily. This helps the skin from drying out and itching or cracking. Just make sure you DON’T moisturize between the toes. This could cause a fungal infection.
· Cut nails straight across, but not too short. Cutting too short could cause ingrown nails. Also make sure to file down the edges.
· NEVER trim corns or calluses. Always let Dr. Gale do this.
· Change your socks daily. Make sure they are clean and dry.
· Avoid socks with tight elastic bands, because they can reduce circulation. Thick/bulky socks can fit poorly and irritate the skin.
· Wear socks to bed if your feet get cold at night. Do not use a heating pad or hot water bottle.
· Inspect your shoes before you put them on. Shaking them upside down will help you get rid of anything you might not have felt with your hand, such as a pebble.
· Always keep your feet warm and dry. During the winter make sure you wear warm socks and shoes.
· NEVER walk barefoot even in the house. You could step on something and not know it.
· Always keep your blood sugar levels in control.
· Don’t smoke. This restricts the blood flow down to your feet.
· Get regular foot exams to help prevent any foot problems caused by diabetes.
Dr. Brian Gale, DPM, FACFAS sees patients with diabetes for foot exams every day. If you or anyone you know has diabetes and want to keep your feet healthy Contact Us (701-255-3338) at Our Bismarck Office Dakota Foot & Ankle Clinic to schedule an appointment. The American Diabetes Association (http://www.diabetes.org) advises that everyone who has diabetes should see a foot and ankle specialist at least once each year. Studies have shown following these recommendations decreases the risk of ulcer (open sore), infection, amputation, and death.
1. You might be able to avoid surgery
A Foot specialist will do extensive testing every year to check for nerve damage. Studies have shown that by visiting a podiatrist at least once a year you might significantly reduce your chances of developing an infection that can lead to amputation. They will find things that you don’t notice that need to be cared for before they become big problems.
2. You may have neuropathy
Diabetic Neuropathy is nerve damage; the symptoms can range from numbness, tingling, pain and burning of the feet. When you have numbness you may step on something and not even realize it, then one day wake up and your foot is really swollen and red and you have a fever and realize you have a serious infection. You head to the emergency room might tell you they have to amputate your leg to save your life!
3. Some people don’t understand
Some people don’t understand how you can have pain and numbness in your feet at the same time. There’s different nerves for pain and different nerves in your feet for feeling (light touch), which does make it possible to experience both pain and numbness at the same time. If you ever find yourself with a serious foot infection do your best to ask for a Podiatrist, someone who specializes in the foot and ankle and specifically has treated many Diabetic foot infections.
Please take extra special care of your diabetic feet! Seeing your foot and ankle specialist at least once a year could help save a limb and possibly your life.