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Posts for: November, 2015

November 23, 2015
Category: Uncategorized
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Diabetes and your Feet:
Diabetes is a lifelong chronic disease that is caused by high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. This disease can cause a number/variety of complications, including numbness in the feet and an inability to fight off infections. This combination can lead to serious problems, sometimes life threatening, if not carefully monitored or identified.
Foot problems are the leading cause of hospitalizations for diabetics. The most common problems leading to these hospitalizations include ulcerations, soft tissue infections, bone infection, abscesses, and gangrene of the toes/foot. All of these problems usually come from one of (or a combination of) the following three health risks: peripheral neuropathy (numbness), peripheral vascular disease (poor circulation), or decreased ability to fight infections. The good news is, most of the aforementioned problems/causes of hospitalization are completely preventable with proper care and inspection during regular visits to your Podiatrist. Your podiatric physician will be able to evaluate your sensation, blood flow, identify and problems or risks, and treat them before a hospitalization or even amputation is needed.
Many diabetics wonder 'What can I do myself to help prevent these problems?" There are several measures diabetics can take on a regular/daily basis to ensure the health of their feet between visits to their Podiatrist...
1. You or a family member visually inspect your feet daily. Be sure to note any blisters, calluses, bleeding, redness, swelling, or other concerning/abnormal lesions.
2. Check the inside of your shoes prior to use for loose objects such as rocks or metallic fragments.
3. Avoid walking barefoot outside your home.
4. Do not soak the feet, and avoid extreme temperatures such as hot water soaks/heating pads.
5. Maintain a healthy blood glucose level and check daily.
6. Ensure you are wearing a shoe with adequate width, length, and depth to avoid excessive rubbing/friction.
7. Wash your feet daily with warm, soapy water and dry well, particularly between the toes.
8. Do not use acids, chemical corn removers, or attempt to perform "bathroom surgery."
9. Avoid smoking (or use of other tobacco products) and drinking.
10. Get regular examinations of the feet by your podiatrist, typically every couple months.

November is National Diabetes Month! All of us are affecting by this disease in one way or another. All month we will be posting helpful tips and links to support the community. To start here is a list of events for the local Nashville American Diabetes Chapter:

Check out our main page and/or our Facebook page for additional helpful tips.  If you are unsure about whether you are diabetic or not be sure and speak to your primary care physician.  The earlier you are diagnosed the better your chances are of keeping it under control to avoid complications.