Diabetes is becoming more and more common, mostly due to the increased overweight population. Many times a podiatrist is the first to diagnose diabetes, due to an issue that arises in the feet. Numbness, a non-healing wound, or chronic infection are all foot issues that are related to diabetes. It is vital that all Diabetics establish a relationship with a podiatrist.
Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects up to 6% of the population. When diabetes is present, either the body produces less or no insulin or the body tissues are resistant to the effects of diabetes. This results in higher levels of glucose in the blood, which can damage a whole range of body tissues and organs.
Care of the feet are essential to diabetics because of the direct effect diabetes has on the feet. Diabetes can damage the nerves, leading to a painful or numb condition called peripheral neuropathy. Diabetes also can lead to poor circulation, which can slow the healing process when damage occurs. Also, diabetics are more prone to infection and are slower to resolve infections due to poor circulation. Because of these issues, diabetics are more prone to such issues such as a completely insensitive foot, foot ulcers, foot deformities due to advanced neuropathy, and persistant infections in the feet. The best course of action is to prevent all of these problems from occurring.
Your Claremore Podiatrist has an extremely important role to play in the prevention and management of complications of the foot in those with diabetes. All those who are at risk for a problem should have that risk status assessed at least twice annually, and more if the risk is greater. Your podiatrist should communicate this risk status to other members of the health care team. Advice should be given on how to reduce the chance of damage happening, what to do to prevent it and what to do if something does go wrong.
Regular foot care from a podiatrist is a key way to prevent problems from developing in those who are at risk. Diabetic shoes and insoles are another way to manage pressures beneath the feet that could become ulcers.
When something does go wrong, call our office immediately. Waiting a “few days to see what happens” before seeing someone may be the difference between a good and poor outcome. The sooner treatment is started the better. If you are diabetic and think you have a problem, call now for an immediate appointment.