You develop diabetes when your body cannot regulate blood sugar levels because your pancreas cannot make enough insulin for your body to use. While diabetes can affect your entire body, one part that may be largely affected is your feet. Diabetes may cause reduced blood circulation, which may cause difficulty with wound healing. But how can you manage the condition?
Ronderick Williamson DPM specializes in diabetic foot management to lower complications resulting from a diabetic foot. He may combine different treatment options that fit your needs and focus on preventive care. Here is a discussion on management options your podiatrist may recommend to help care for your diabetic feet.
Regular Feet Exam
You have an increased risk of foot problems living with diabetes. Therefore, your doctor may recommend routine foot exams to check for infections, nerve damage, and poor circulation that may cause diabetic foot problems. Your foot exams may be more frequent if you experience tingling, numbness, burning sensation, pain and difficulty walking, and swelling.
Other symptoms like blisters, redness around an injury, a black and smelly injury, and a callus drying with blood inside may mean serious infections. Your podiatrist will check your feet to identify skin problems and carry tests to evaluate blood flow to your feet.
Your podiatrist can help you manage a diabetic foot by recommending toenail care. You may cut your toenails immediately after a bath because they are still soft at home. Your podiatrist will ask you to trim the straight across and then file them while avoiding cutting into the corners of your toes.
You may also have to watch that the corners of your toenails do not grow into your skin and cause ingrown toenails. Your podiatrist may also help you cut your toenails during treatment to prevent accidental cuts that may cause an infection.
Your podiatrist may recommend diabetic shoes that allow extra depth and width to your feet to prevent tightness that may cause poor circulation to your feet. Wearing shoes that are not wide enough may cause your feet to rub against the sides of your shoes and cause calluses and bunions to form. Such skin changes may lead to the formation of wound ulcers. Neuropathy may make it hard to feel whether your shoes are uncomfortable, and therefore, it may be important to check your feet daily for any changes.
Your podiatrist can prescribe a diabetic insole that you fit into your regular shoes to prevent worsening foot conditions. While they cannot cure diabetes, orthotics can prevent developing foot conditions and save both your feet and your money. Orthotics help to evenly distribute body weight over your entire foot, to reduce pressure and friction between your shoes and feet.
After a diagnosis of diabetes, your podiatrist will emphasize foot care as you will likely develop foot problems resulting from poor circulation and insensitivity. Poor blood circulation may worsen sores when they develop, and it may cause wounds to never heal if you do not get proper treatment.
Depending on your needs, your podiatrist will recommend treatments, including shoe inserts, regular feet exams, and prescription diabetic shoes. You can also benefit from lifestyle practices to help you maintain a healthy fit, including toenail care and regularly checking your feet for changes.