Posts for tag: Diabetic Foot Care
What your foot doctor in Bentonville and Grove wants you to know
When you have diabetes, you have to take special care of your body, including your feet. That’s because diabetes is a serious medical condition that dramatically affects your entire body, but it’s especially hard on your extremities, including your feet. Dr. Bryan Sheehan at Ankle & Foot Centers of Mid-America wants to share how to take care of your feet if you have diabetes. He has two convenient office locations in Bentonville, AR, and Grove, OK, to help you.
Diabetes is a common problem, affecting over 29 million people in this country, according to the American Diabetes Association. The effects of diabetes are far-reaching, causing problems with several main body systems including the nervous, circulatory, and immune systems.
Diabetes can cause many different problems with your feet, including:
- Small cuts and blisters that won’t heal
- Diabetic ulcers and other open wounds
- Stabbing nerve pain in your feet and toes
- Lack of adequate blood flow which can cause tissue death
- Amputations of toes and feet
- Loss of sensation in your feet, making it easy to hurt your feet
All of these diabetes-related problems can cause difficulty walking and standing. Diabetes can dramatically reduce your quality of life. So, how can you protect and take care of your feet when you have diabetes? There are a few simple, but important steps to take every day, including:
- Checking your feet with a small hand mirror; look at the tops, sides, and soles of your feet checking for small cuts, blisters, or other injuries.
- Washing and drying your feet thoroughly using mild soap and warm water.
- Applying thick moisturizing cream or lotion to your feet and toes; keep your feet from developing cracks due to dry skin.
- Keeping your toenails trimmed straight across to avoid developing ingrown toenails.
- Stretching your ankles, feet, and toes to increase mobility, circulation, and flexibility
Don’t let diabetes take over your feet. A little bit of extra care for your feet can enhance your life. For more information about diabetic foot care call Dr. Sheehan at Ankle & Foot Centers of Mid-America, with offices in Bentonville, AR, and Grove, OK. Call today!
Spending more time on foot care is particularly important if you have diabetes. Bentonville, AR and Grove, OK foot doctor Dr. Bryan Sheehan of Ankle & Foot Centers of Mid-America explains why diabetic foot care is crucial and shares a few tips that will help you avoid infections.
How does diabetes increase the risk of infections?
Uncontrolled diabetes can make your feet feel number due to nerve damage. If you can't feel your feet, you won't notice if you get a cut or sore. Diabetes may also be responsible for reduced blood flow to your feet. Because of circulation problems, healing takes longer and your risk of tissue death rises. If you have diabetes, you may also have a higher-than-normal risk of developing bone infections.
What can I do to prevent infections?
There are two steps you can take to ensure that you don't develop an infection:
Perform Self-Exams: Taking a good look at your feet at least once a day can help you identify problem areas, such as blisters, red spots, corns, calluses, ingrown toenails and sores.
Take Corrective Action: If you do notice a blister or red spot, applying a bandage or cushion over the blister or red spot will help prevent the blister from breaking or the spot from becoming a blister or open sore. It's also important to change the shoes you wear if a particular pair rubs against your foot. Orthotics, special shoe inserts custom designed to fit your foot, can help reduce pressure that causes red spots or blisters.
When Should I Call the Foot Doctor?
When you have diabetes, even minor foot problems can quickly become major infections. If you're concerned about a corn or callus, it's best not to try to remove it yourself. Instead, call our Bentonville, AR and Grove, OK offices to schedule an appointment. Ingrown toenails also should not be handled at home. If you notice any of these warning signs, call us as soon as possible:
- Black skin
- Red streaks on your foot
- Open wounds
- Abnormally pale or blue skin
- Tingling or numbness
- A burning feeling in your foot
- Complete lack of sensation in your feet
Protect your feet with daily self-exams and regular podiatric care. Call Bentonville, AR, foot doctor Dr. Bryan Sheehan of Ankle & Foot Centers of Mid-America at the Bentonville, AR, office (479) 224-6411 or Grove, OK, office (918) 787-6893 to schedule your appointment.
If you are one of the many Bentonville, AR residents who currently has diabetes, you may have heard that it is important to see a foot doctor, such as those at Ankle & Foot Centers of Mid-America, regularly, but you might not be exactly sure why diabetic foot care is so important. After all, diabetes is a condition that affects your blood sugar. What does that have to do with your feet?
As it turns out, proper foot care from a foot doctor is crucial for Bentonville, AR, residents with diabetes. Here are three reasons why.
1. Diabetes Causes Poor Circulation
In addition to crashing and spiking blood sugar levels, diabetes also causes poor circulation, which results in a loss of sensation in the feet and legs. When you can't feel your feet, you often don't know that there is a problem until it has progressed. Individuals with diabetes have to be especially vigilant with visiting their foot doctor at Ankle & Foot Centers of Mid-America in Bentonville, AR to prevent potential problems.
2. Diabetes Makes You More Prone to Infection
Also, this same lack of circulation also interferes with healing if you ever do get a wound or sore. With slowly moving blood, antibodies do not reach the area as quickly and a simple wound can take weeks or even months to heal.
3. Proper Care Reduces Your Risk of Amputation
When wounds are allowed to linger, the chance of a serious infection increases every day. If they are allowed to linger long enough, doctors sometimes have no choice but to amputate the area. By catching potential foot problems early, Bentonville, AR residents and their foot doctor can help prevent this from happening.
If you are one of the many Bentonville, AR residents who currently has diabetes, you already know how important close monitoring is to your health. Simply checking your blood sugar is not enough, however. You also need to visit a foot doctor at Ankle & Foot Centers of Mid-America for regular check-ups to make sure that your feet stay healthy. If it has been a while since your last appointment or if you've never come in, call and set up an appointment today!
Diabetics: Pay Close Attention to the Health of Your Feet
Prevention is the Key to Protection
Some Basic Care for Your Feet Include:
- DON’T SMOKE! Tobacco use and diabetes are the two major risk factors for circulation problems.
- See your podiatrist at least twice a year.
- Check the bathwater before immersing your feet- impaired sensation can lead to severe burns.
- Don’t use antiseptic solutions, drugstore medications, heating pads or sharp instruments on your feet.
- Trim your toenails straight across. Avoid cutting the corners. If you have difficulty maintaining the nails, see your podiatrist.
- If the skin is dry, use a good moisturizer on a daily basis.
- Wear warm socks and shoes in winter. Natural materials, such as wool or cotton, breathe better and will control sweat more effectively than synthetic materials.
- When drying your feet, pat each foot with a towel and be careful between your toes. If the feet have a tendency to sweat, use an antifungal powder.
- Buy shoes that are comfortable without a “breaking in period.” Tight shoes are the leading cause of foot injuries resulting in amputation.
- Following these simple guidelines will help you prevent additional serious complications with your feet. Of course, if you exhibit any complications or changes in your feet, contact Dr. Bryan Sheehan, your local Bentonville podiatrist, immediately.
Warning Signs of a Serious Problem
- There is nerve damage
- Poorly fitting shoes are worn
- Poor circulation exists
- There is trauma to the foot in any extremity
- Infections such as ingrown toenails or athlete’s foot are present