Our Podiatrists Understand Diabetic Foot Care
People with diabetes are at risk for serious and sometimes life-threatening foot problems. If you are diabetic, the best way to prevent these complications is to receive regular foot exams from a physician who specializes in the foot and ankle. Our physicians are trained in the prevention and treatment of these potential complications. Diabetics with neuropathy can develop sores and cuts that they may be unaware of due to the lack of feeling in their feet. If left untreated, these minor sores can lead to ulceration and possibly even amputation. We have the experience and expertise to treat these sometimes difficult problems. We are a Medicare-approved diabetic shoe supplier. Our physicians prescribe, fit, and dispense shoes appropriate for the unique podiatric needs of people with diabetes. We can also supply accommodative shoes for difficult-to-fit feet. Contact us to learn more about how our podiatrists can partner with you to help ensure your feet stay healthy and comfortable.
The Importance of Diabetic Foot Care
Diabetes presents unique challenges when it comes to foot care. Infections, ulcers, nerve damage, and circulation problems are complications that people with diabetes may encounter throughout their lives. Podiatrists at the Highland Foot and Ankle Clinic in St. Paul play an important role in foot-related diabetes care: they can identify problems quickly, monitor changes in the feet, treat infections, and help patients make beneficial lifestyle changes. Below you will learn the effects of diabetes on the feet, and how partnering with a podiatrist can make all the difference in successful management of the disease.
Prevent Circulatory Impairment, Wounds, and Infection
Prolonged high blood sugar can damage arteries and lead to the formation of plaque. As a result, blood can no longer flow as freely through the body to deliver oxygen and nutrients to cells. If a person with uncontrolled diabetes injures their foot, the resulting wound may be slow to heal due to inefficient circulation.
An open wound is a gateway for infection, especially on body parts like the feet that are constantly coming into contact with bacteria-laden surfaces. Standing in the shower, backyard, or even on the carpet in your own home could allow bacteria to enter a foot wound and cause an infection. If the circulatory system cannot supply the damaged cells, the wound will fail to heal and the infection can cause major complications.
Our podiatrists at Highland Foot and Ankle Clinic understand diabetic foot management. If you’re struggling with circulation and wound healing due to diabetes, call our office to schedule an appointment and begin your care plan.
Avoid Nerve Damage and Ulcers
High blood glucose levels associated with diabetes can also cause nerve damage. When the nerves in the feet can no longer send signals effectively, two problems may arise: a dulled pain response resulting in unnoticed foot injuries, and poor communication from nerves to muscles leading to improper foot function. As mentioned above, an untreated wound can quickly become infected. If the infection is not taken care of, it could continue to spread and lead to sepsis.
If the nerves in the feet can no longer “talk” with the surrounding muscles, the foot may not align properly and fine motor skills will decrease. Physical activity such as walking can then cause prolonged pressure on parts of the feet not designed to bear as much weight, resulting in ulcer formation. An ulcer is a sore that can be deep and crater-like. If left untreated, the ulcer can extend deeper into tendons and bones.
Break the Cycle Of Diabetic Foot Complications
Perhaps the greatest challenge in managing diabetic foot care is the cyclical nature of the complications. As you’ve learned, uncontrolled diabetes can impair nerve function. This can lead to prolonged improper foot alignment resulting in ulcers, while also allow ulcers or accidental wounds to be overlooked. The inability of the circulatory system to move nutrient-dense, oxygenated blood to the injury site can prevent the healing of these wounds and ulcers, and infection can quickly set in.
A skilled podiatrist can partner with those dealing with diabetes to ensure proper supervision and care of the feet. In addition to interventional treatment, a podiatrist can instruct patients on preventative measures to keep their feet healthy. At Highland Foot and Ankle Clinic, Drs. Whittaker and Healy provide excellent ongoing diabetes-related foot care. We complete a comprehensive diabetic-foot exam and offer a treatment protocol that includes diabetic shoes and custom inserts on an annual basis.
Find a Clinic that Fits Your Needs
Between blood sugar maintenance and constant vigilance, diabetes can add more stress to life than anyone should handle alone. Experience the difference supportive care from a trained podiatrist can make in your diabetes management. Call Highland Foot and Ankle Clinic in St. Paul to schedule an appointment and learn more about your care options.