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How Does A Podiatrist Help With Diabetes

Diabetes And Podiatry; What’s The Connection?

Diabetes And Podiatry; What’s The Connection?

Diabetes is a lifelong health condition in which the bodys levels of blood glucose and the hormone insulin are out of balance. Symptoms include increased thirst, increased frequency of passing urine and fatigue. There are two main forms; Type 1 in which the body doesn’t produce enough insulin Type 2 where either the body doesn’t produce enough insulin or the body’s cell no longer react to the insulin produced An inability to produce insulin or use it effectively results in raised levels of blood sugar (hyperglycemia). If present over a prolonged period, hyperglycemia is associated with damage to organs and tissue within the body including the heart, blood vessels, nerves, kidney and eyes. The risk factors for type 1 diabetes are still being researched but several have been identified for the commonest form, Type 2. These include a family history of the disease, being overweight, physical inactivity and unhealthy eating. How does diabetes link to podiatry? Foot complications in diabetes are common and account for more hospital admissions than any other diabetic complication. Foot ulcers present as one of the most significant pathologies and are associated with neuropathy (nerve damage) and/or peripheral arterial disease (poor circulation). These greatly increase the risk of amputation with up to 80% of amputations attributed to foot ulceration. The prognosis for individuals with ulceration and amputation is poor with a five year mortality rate of 43-55% and up to 74% respectively. Podiatrists play a leading role in the management of ulceration providing treatments including wound debridement, dressing and pressure relief and it has been suggested 80% of amputations are potentially preventable through the provision of well structured, quality care. Why is awareness Continue reading >>

How To Look After Your Feet If You Have Diabetes

How To Look After Your Feet If You Have Diabetes

It's especially important to look after your feet if you have diabetes. Here's how to take care of your feet and advice on when to get professional help. Diabetes can reduce the blood supply to your feet and cause a loss of feeling known as peripheral neuropathy. This can mean foot injuries do not heal well, and you may not notice if your foot is sore or injured. "The risk of complications can be greatly reduced if you're able to bring your blood sugar levels under control," says foot specialist Mike O'Neill. "Ensure that your blood pressure and cholesterol levels are also monitored and controlled with medication if needed." Foot care tips if you have diabetes See a private or NHS podiatrist at least once a year. You should be eligible for an NHS podiatrist if you have a long term condition such as diabetes. Ask your GP for a referral or find a local podiatrist. Keep your feet clean and free from infection. Wear shoes that fit well and don't squeeze or rub. Ill-fitting shoes can cause corns and calluses, ulcers and nail problems. Never walk barefoot, especially in the garden or on the beach on holidays to avoid cuts and try to avoid sitting with your legs crossed so you don't constrict your blood circulation. Cut or file your toenails regularly. Get corns or hard skin treated by a podiatrist. Stop smoking to protect your feet If you have diabetes, it's important to try to stop smoking. Smoking impairs the blood circulation, particularly in people with diabetes. It can seriously worsen foot and leg problems. Read more about how the NHS can help you to stop smoking. When to see a doctor Seek treatment from your GP or podiatrist if blisters or injuries do not heal quickly. You should see your doctor urgently if: you notice breaks in the skin of your foot, or discharge seep Continue reading >>

Diabetes Health: Why You Need To See A Podiatrist Regularly

Diabetes Health: Why You Need To See A Podiatrist Regularly

Every 20 seconds a limb is lost to diabetes. When you have diabetes you are more at risk of having foot problems and complications. This typically happens due to nerve damage, or neuropathy, in the feet and toes. When you have nerve damage in your feet, over time you lose the ability to feel pain. When this happens an injury, or a small cut or wound on your foot or toes can go unnoticed. These small injuries can quickly turn into larger and more complicated problems like foot ulcers. This is where podiatrists can help. Podiatrists are foot doctors who can help you protect and take care of your feet. How does a podiatrist help people with diabetes? A podiatrist is an important part of your diabetes health care team. Podiatrists are specifically trained to assess the nerve damage in your feet, identify your specific foot health risks, and help you come up with a treatment and prevention plan. Diabetes can impact your feet in a number of ways, and podiatrists help address those issues. What foot problems can people with diabetes have? If you have diabetes there are a number of foot problems you may experience including: Nerve Damage – You may experience neuropathy (nerve damage) this can cause pain and numbness in your feet. Eventually, this can cause more serious problems, including the loss of feeling in your feet and toes. When this happens an injury like a cut can go unnoticed. Foot Ulcers – A foot ulcer is a wound that can occur on the foot and/or toes. The tissue on a part of the foot breaks down to create an open wound. These ulcers can grow larger and easily become infected. Treatment is lengthy and expensive. If not properly treated or cared for they may require amputation. Charcot Foot – When you have nerve damage in your feet this can also cause weakening Continue reading >>

47 Podiatrists Share Tips On Good Foot Care For Those With Diabetes

47 Podiatrists Share Tips On Good Foot Care For Those With Diabetes

Here is exactly what we asked our panel of experts: What tips would you give to someone who is newly diagnosed? Why do you think a lot of people ignore their foot care when it comes to diabetes? Featured Answer Dr. Ira H. Kraus, President, American Podiatric Medical Association A1: The most important tip I would give to anyone newly diagnosed with diabetes is to include a podiatrist in your care team. That may seem like a self-serving tip! But independent studies show that when a podiatrist is involved in caring for a person with diabetes, that person’s risk of hospitalization and diabetes-related amputations goes down dramatically. Seeing a podiatrist once a year can help you prevent diabetic ulcers, and if you do develop an ulcer, seeing a podiatrist can help reduce the risk of amputation by up to 80 percent. I would also suggest that people newly diagnosed with diabetes simply pay close attention to their feet. Prevention can be the key. Watch your feet daily for any changes, and if you see something that concerns you, get in to see your podiatrist as soon as possible! A2: A diabetes diagnosis can be overwhelming. It comes with a lot of lifestyle changes and a lot of concerns. Our feet are literally the furthest things from our minds, so it’s not surprising that many people overlook them as they’re growing accustomed to living with diabetes. Also, many people don’t understand the serious complications diabetes can cause in the feet, and by the time they realize there’s a problem, it is a significant problem. People do not realize that simple things that they have been living with for years like: dry skin, athletes foot, skin fissures or calluses can lead to serious complications. The good news is that those small steps of examining your feet once a day and Continue reading >>

Diabetic Foot Care

Diabetic Foot Care

What is Diabetes? Symptoms How do you get Diabetes? The Role of your Podiatric Physician What to do if you already have Diabetes What is Diabetes? Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease that affects the lives of nearly 24 million people in the United States, nearly 6 million of whom are unaware that they even have the disease. In 2007 alone, 1.6 million new cases of diabetes were diagnosed in people aged 20 years or older. The disease is marked by the inability to manufacture or properly use insulin and impairs the body’s ability to convert sugars, starches and other foods into energy. The long-term effects of elevated blood sugar (hyperglycemia) are damage to the eyes, heart, feet, kidneys, nerves and blood vessels. Symptoms Symptoms of hyperglycemia may include frequent urination, excessive thirst, extreme hunger, unexplained weight loss, tingling or numbness of the feet or hands, blurred vision, fatigue, slow-to-heal wounds and susceptibility to certain infections. People who have any of these symptoms and have not been tested for diabetes are putting themselves at considerable risk and should see a physician without delay. Part of keeping your diabetes in control is testing your blood sugar often. Ask your doctor how often you should test and what your blood sugar levels should be. Testing your blood and then treating high blood sugar early will help you to prevent complications. The socioeconomic costs of diabetes are enormous. In 2007, the total annual economic cost of diabetes was estimated at $174 billion — about $116 billion of which are direct costs from the disease with $58 billion indirectly related. Diabetes is the sixth leading cause of death by disease in the United States, and individuals with diabetes are two to four times as likely to experience he Continue reading >>

How Podiatry Can Help The Feet Of Diabetics

How Podiatry Can Help The Feet Of Diabetics

Approximately 2.5 million people in the UK suffer from diabetes according to Diabetes UK. By 2025, it is estimated that this number will exceed four million. Foot problems are a big risk in diabetics – the most severe problems can lead to amputation – so this is where the expertise of a podiatrist plays an important role. Foot problems for diabetes sufferers are usually the result of three primary factors: neuropathy, poor circulation, and decreased resistance to infection. Peripheral neuropathy Patients, who suffer from neuropathy, find it increasingly difficult to distinguish between hot and cold and dull and sharp, as well as the ability to feel pain and pressure. This could lead to potentially dangerous and undetected injuries for a diabetic. The risks of developing ulcers and infections are significantly increased. Poor circulation Poor circulation inhibits the body’s ability to allow adequate blood flow to extremities. Blood carries the necessary oxygen and nutrients necessary to aid in the body’s healing processes as well as keeping those body parts active and healthy. Decreased resistance to infection Poor circulation to the feet and legs slow down the healing process when injured. When your wound is not healing, it’s at risk of infection. As a diabetic your infections spread quickly and greatly increase the risks to contract gangrene. Most of these problems are preventable through proper care and regular visits to your podiatrist. Proactive screening, regular assessment and education are effective measures to detect and help to prevent early foot problems. At the Waldegrave Clinic, our podiatrists are specialist at helping Diabetes patients and offer: Screening Blood supply will be checked by looking at the colour of your skin, checking the pulses in Continue reading >>

Role Of The Podiatrist In Diabetic Limb Salvage - Sciencedirect

Role Of The Podiatrist In Diabetic Limb Salvage - Sciencedirect

Volume 56, Issue 4 , October 2012, Pages 1168-1172 Podiatrists play an important role in the multidisciplinary team in diabetic limb salvage. Podiatry is a specialty that is licensed in the diagnoses and treatment of pathologies of the foot and ankle. The treatment includes both conservative and surgical modalities. Understanding the biomechanics of the lower extremity is principally emphasized in the education and training of a podiatrist. This is particularly important in the context of the diabetic foot where biomechanical abnormalities often precede ulcer development. Preventive ulcer development strategies employed by a podiatrist include regular monitoring, routine care of calluses, and insert/shoe recommendations. Further, clinic-based ulcer care as well as surgery that include prophylactic and acute intervention can translate to the preservation of a functional limb. Finally, continuous podiatric management can prevent ulcer recurrence through offloading strategies and diabetic foot education. Continue reading >>

Diabetes - Foot Care

Diabetes - Foot Care

Diabetes can reduce blood circulation and damage the nerves to the feet. Ask your doctor to examine your feet regularly for any evidence of nerve damage or poor circulation. Foot problems can be avoided if you take care of your feet and act quickly if you have a problem. On this page: Foot care is particularly important if you have diabetes. Foot problems are a common complication of this condition. Your feet can be affected in two ways. Blood supply may be affected, resulting in slower healing. You may also lose some feeling in your feet due to nerve damage. A person whose nerves are damaged by diabetes may not realise they have minor cuts or blisters, which can lead to ulcers. Foot problems can be avoided if you take care of your feet and act quickly when you have a problem. Get your feet checked at least once a year by a doctor or podiatrist to detect problems early and help prevent complications. Circulation in people with diabetes Poor blood circulation can affect the blood supply to your feet. When this is reduced, cuts and sores may not heal. An early sign of poor circulation to the feet may be pain or cramps in the backs of your legs when walking. Circulation problems can be caused by hardening or narrowing of arteries as they become clogged up. Common causes include: smoking high blood fats raised blood glucose levels. How to improve circulation for people with diabetes Suggestions to improve your blood circulation include: Control your blood fat levels. Keep blood glucose levels as close to normal as possible. Don’t smoke. Smoking causes spasm and narrowing of blood vessels. Smokers have more heart attacks, strokes and circulation problems than non-smokers. Exercise daily. A brisk walk will help keep the blood flowing around your body. Foot care for people w Continue reading >>

Foot Care

Foot Care

When you have diabetes you need to take care of your feet every day Having diabetes can increase your risk of foot ulcers and amputations Daily care can prevent serious complications Check your feet daily for changes or problems Visit a podiatrist annually for a check up or more frequently if your feet are at high risk Your feet are at risk because diabetes can cause damage to the nerves in your feet, blood circulation and infection. Having diabetes can increase your risk of foot ulcers and amputations. This damage is more likely if: You have had diabetes for a long time Your blood glucose levels have been too high for an extended period You smoke – smoking causes a reduced blood flow to your feet, wounds heal slowly You are inactive. It's important to check your feet every day. If you see any of the following- get medical treatment that *day * Ulcer Unusual swelling Redness Blisters Ingrown nail Bruising or cuts If you see any of the following- get medical treatment within 7 days Broken skin between toes Callus Corn Foot shape changes Cracked skin Nail colour changes Poor blood glucose control can cause nerve damage to feet. Symptoms include: Numbness Coldness of the legs A tingling, pins and needles sensation in the feet Burning pains in the legs and feet, usually more noticeable in bed at night. These symptoms can result in a loss of sensation in the feet which increases the risk of accidental damage because you can’t feel any pain. An injury to the feet can develop into an ulcer on the bottom of a foot which can penetrate to the bone. This could lead to infection of the bone (osteomyelitis) and a chronic infection in the bones and joints. If an infection isn’t treated at the earliest signs, this could result in ulceration (an infected open sore) and eventually Continue reading >>

Diabetes Podiatry - Foot Care For Diabetics

Diabetes Podiatry - Foot Care For Diabetics

Podiatry (foot care) for people with diabetes is one of the most overlooked aspects of diabetes management. Reviewing the community discussion regarding podiatry and particularly for visiting podiatrists reveals that many people with diabetes are entirely unaware that they need to take special care of their feet and visit a podiatrist at once if problems arise. Higher levels of blood glucose can damage the nerve endings in many areas of the body and organs, which is why tight blood glucose control is an essential aspect of diabetes care. Why podiatry is so essential to people with diabetes Diabetes causes nerve damage known as peripheral neuropathy Diabetes affects the circulation, and poor circulation can affect how the body heals People with diabetes are more prone to infection Diabetes complications can also affect the feet Diabetes can affect the joints and make them stiffer A variety of foot problems can arise when poor foot care fails to catch issues at an early stage. These may include: Podiatrists are one of the essential professionals within diabetes care, and have a much underrated role to play in preventing and managing foot complications amongst people with diabetes. Podiatrists are on hand at every stage, be it prevention, concern about a foot problem, and dealing with genuine problems once they occur. Visit your podiatrist at least annually for a risk assessment. What the community is saying about podiatry Hanadr : Diabetics can self refer to a podiatry department. I would say NEVER ignore a foot injury, so SEE A PODIATRIST. Find their number from your district hospital website and phone them. They don't take foot injuries lightly. Samphire : I was limping for well over a week. When I finally tried cutting the toenail, I pulled a bit at the side and an in Continue reading >>

Diabetes

Diabetes

What is Diabetes? Diabetes is a condition in which the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood is too high because the body is unable to use it properly. This is because insulin is lacking, or the body's way of converting glucose into energy is not working properly. There are two common types of diabetes: Type 1: is an auto immune disease where the body's immune system attacks the insulin producing cells in the pancreas. As a result people with type 1 diabetes can not produce insulin and rely on insulin injections to survive. Type 2: is the most common type of diabetes, and is usually a result of hereditary factors and lifestyle risk factors including poor diet, insufficient physical activity and being over weight or obese. How diabetes can affect your feet Your feet are supplied with blood to keep them healthy. They also have lots of nerves that act as a communication and warning system. For example if you have a stone in your shoe, the nerves in your foot will send a message to your brain letting you know they are in pain or discomfort. However if your diabetes is poorly controlled for a long period of time this can lead to nerve damage. Nerve damage may mean that you no longer notice a stone in your shoe, due to loss of feeling in your feet. This can result in an injury or wound you cant feel and possibly an infection. If you have poor circulation, any injuries, wounds or infections to your feet such as cuts, burns or blisters will take longer to heal. This is due to less blood flowing to your feet to assist in healing any damaged tissue. When you have nerve damage and or poor circulation, you will need to take extra care to protect your feet from injury and wounds. Many foot problems in people who have diabetes occur when injuries and wounds, as well as infections go Continue reading >>

Diabetes

Diabetes

What is it? Diabetes is a disease that develops from high blood glucose levels which can cause damage to the nerve systems in your body by stopping important messages getting to and from your brain. The nerves most likely to be affected are the longest ones – those that reach all the way down to your legs and feet. This nerve damage is sometimes called neuropathy. High blood glucose levels can also damage your blood vessels and thereby circulation to your feet and legs, due to less blood getting to your skin, muscles and tissues. Is it serious? Any injury or hard skin has the potential to develop into something more serious if you have diabetes. When the skin is damaged, it may not heal so easily and sometimes this can cause an ulcer to form on your foot. Additionally, if you have lost feeling in your feet then it is possible that you may unknowingly damage your feet. You may stand on sharp objects like a nail, piercing the skin even down to the bone without realising it. If not noticed and not treated appropriately this can have potentially serious consequences and could lead to an amputation. Such an outcome is less likely if you seek expert advice from your multidisciplinary foot care team. Who gets it? Anyone can suffer from Diabetes and you are more likely to if your close relatives have the disease. Other risk factors include obesity, high cholesterol and blood pressure as well as physical inactivity and your chances also increase as you get older. How do I know I have it? Diabetes may affect your feet in a number of ways. One of the early changes can be loss of sensation (peripheral neuropathy) in your feet, often starting at the toes. Your chances of losing feeling in your feet (neuropathy) increases with the number of years that you have diabetes and research Continue reading >>

Diabetes Foot Care

Diabetes Foot Care

You're more likely to have foot problems with diabetes because it can damage your nerves and lessen blood flow to your feet. The American Diabetes Association estimates that it's the reason why 1 in 5 people with diabetes who seek hospital care do so. You have to take care of your feet when you have diabetes. Poor foot care may lead to amputation of a foot or leg. Your doctor will check yours each year for problems. If you take good care of your feet, you can prevent most serious problems related to diabetes. Use mild soaps and warm water. Pat your skin dry; do not rub. Thoroughly dry your feet. After washing, put lotion on them to prevent cracking. But not between your toes! Look carefully at the tops and bottoms of your feet. Have someone else do it if you can't see them. Check for dry, cracked skin. Look for blisters, cuts, scratches, or other sores. Check for redness, increased warmth, or tenderness when you touch an area. Watch for ingrown toenails, corns, and calluses. If you get a blister or sore from your shoes, don't "pop" it. Put a bandage over it, and wear a different pair of shoes. Cut toenails after bathing, when they are soft. Trim them straight across, then smooth with a nail file. Avoid cutting into the corners of toes. You may want a podiatrist (foot doctor) to do it for you. Don't cut cuticles. Walk and work out in comfortable shoes. Don't exercise when you have open sores on your feet. Continue reading >>

How Does A Podiatrist Or Foot Doctor Help People With Diabetes?

How Does A Podiatrist Or Foot Doctor Help People With Diabetes?

A podiatrist is an important part of a team of physicians who manage complications associated with diabetes. Diabetes can affect circulation, nerve sensation (feet go numb or tingly), skin health, and healing wounds and fighting infections. If you have no other complications with your diabetes, an annual foot exam can help detect problems early. Pressure points that turn into calluses can result in foot ulcerations and infections. In growing or fungal toenails can lead to infections as well. Some patients require foot care every 2-3 months to avoid problems with their feet and closely monitor for problems. A podiatrist can assess shoes and even prescribe shoes and orthoses for your feet that will help prevent these complications and accommodate a deformity like hammertoes and bunions. If you have had a wound on your foot of some kind, this can help keep it from recurring. Podiatrists are also trained in surgical correction of many deformities and acquired foot problems. A podiatrist or doctor of podiatric medicine (DPM) is a physician and surgeon specializing in foot and ankle care, including the treatment of diabetes-related conditions. People with peripheral neuropathy and sensory loss may get foot ulcers, or calluses that can become ulcerated if they are not treated. Surgery is sometimes necessary to correct a bad bunion or hammertoe to prevent ulcer formation. A podiatrist may trim the toenails of someone who has neuropathy and is at risk of injuring him- or herself. He may prescribe orthotics -- specialized shoe inserts -- or prescription shoes with increased depth in the toe cap to prevent irritation or skin breakdown. Continue reading >>

Diabetes

Diabetes

People with diabetes may suffer foot problems Problems can include foot ulcers, infections and nerve damage if they are not caught at an early stage. Podiatrists have an important role to play in preventing and managing foot complications among people with diabetes. Diabetes has many effects on the feet, including: Nerve damage, resulting in numbness, burning sensation, pain, coldness, pins and needles or tingling while at rest Blocked blood vessels or decreased blood flow with fewer nutrients reaching the feet - without proper nourishment, wounds on the foot may not heal in the normal time period Weakened bones causing a shift in the foot, which may change the way the foot distributes pressure Collapsed joints, especially in the area of the arch Blisters and Calluses, a person with diabetes may be more vulnerable to blisters and callus formation Ulcers or wounds occur more easily as a result of the breakdown of several layers of skin A breakdown of tissue goes all the way to the bone, and secondary bone infection can occur, in some cases resulting in the loss of the foot Prevention is better than cure Wear properly fitting shoes and socks Exercising the feet can increase blood flow and keep the foot flexible Avoid extreme heat and cold on the feet Avoid crossing the legs, this may affect already-decreased blood circulation Avoid over-the-counter medications, such as corn pads and paints, they may be ineffective or in some cases make the condition worse Avoid walking barefoot – a person with diabetes can injure their feet by walking barefoot and stepping on sharp objects, nails or glass Follow a recommended diet for people with diabetes When to see a Podiatrist It is essential that a person with diabetes has regular check-ups with their Podiatrist, they can assist by: Continue reading >>

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