Our Hudson/Bayonet Point & Spring Hill, FL Podiatrist specializes in Diabetic Foot Care & Wound Care (Foot Ulcers)
DIABETIC FOOT HEALTH
Diabetes is a metabolism disorder. It is a defect in the body’s ability to turn glucose (sugar) into energy. Diabetes is usually categorized in three ways; Type I, Type 2 and Gestational.
Type I is where the body does not produce insulin and cannot convert glucose (sugar) into energy. Many patients give themselves insulin to help with this breakdown of glucose.
Type II is where the body does not process insulin properly. This type can also be known as adult onset diabetes.
Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy where there is a high level of glucose present.
WHAT DOES DIABETES HAVE TO DO WITH MY FEET?
Limited blood flow restricts the amount of nutrients that gets delivered to the foot. This creates several problems for diabetics including:
Diabetic Neuropathy – People with diabetes can develop many different foot problems. Foot problems can occur when there is nerve damage also called neuropathy, which can lead to loss of feeling in your feet. Neuropathy can lead to an inability to feel pain, heat or cold. You may develop a foot injury and not even know it.
Dry Skin is closely related to the nerve damage that accommodates diabetes. Because your nerves do not work properly, your feet cannot regulate the moisture and oils needed to maintain healthy smooth skin.
Foot Ulcers – Then skin on your feet may also change. The skin can become dry and crack and peel. The nerves in your feet that control oil and moisture may no longer work. You may develop corns and calluses if left untreated could result in an ulcer. Circulation is key to good foot health. If you develop poor circulation, you lose the ability to fight infection and to heal.
Increased chances of wound infection – When the foot encounters a wound, the body is unable to supply sufficient amounts of blood and nutrients for healthy healing. If wounds go unnoticed, because of nerve damage, they will be vulnerable to infection.
By practicing the right foot care techniques and wearing footwear specifically for your diabetes, you can prevent infection, dry skin, foot ulcers, and even amputation. Seeking care will only help treat and prevent these conditions. For diabetics, prevention is one of the best treatments. For this reason, it is important that you keep foot health a priority. Contact our podiatric office today and get treatment so that you can control the effects of your diabetes.
HOW CAN MY DOCTOR HELP ME?
Our Diabetic Foot Specialists will schedule routine foot examinations allowing him to check your feet thoroughly to check for any unusual signs. Our Podiatry team may do testing on your feet to check your circulation and nerve function. Your Podiatrists at Pasco-Hernando Foot & Ankle will check the feet and toes for any redness, swelling and sores. The best way to effectively maintain your foot health is to book an appointment with our Podiatrist and let the doctor check your feet.
Custom Diabetic Shoe Program
Fitting and dispensing of Therapeutic Diabetic Shoes
Please ask our Pasco-Hernando Foot & Ankle Staff about therapeutic (prescription) footwear, which is a covered benefit for diabetic patients in many insurance plans. Proper shoes are needed to help reduce the possibility of painful foot sores and potentially life threatening wounds (foot ulcers). Our Podiatry team is here to help you, contact us today.
WOUND CARE - FOOT ULCERS
Foot ulcers are open wounds that develop on the toes, heel, ball of the foot and the lower leg. They appear as circular or oval like divots or rashes in the skin and can vary in color, size and severity of pain. Many ulcers on the ball and toes of the foot are associated with diabetes; they can be painless and often go untreated. As the wounds get worse they get infected which, after time, can become gangrene and result in amputation.
There are many different factors that can contribute to ulcers including smoking, genetics, weight, and medications. When talking about the feet and legs, causes closely related to the symptoms of diabetes, poor blood circulation, and obstructions in the veins or arteries.
Poor blood circulation: A side effect of poor blood circulation or obstructions in veins or arteries is an insufficient supply of oxygen and nutrients to lower extremities. Because of this deficiency, developing sores cannot heal properly. Many sores can develop from a foot rubbing on a shoe or toes rubbing together. As time passes the sore will get worse and develop into an ulcer.
Diabetes: Patients with diabetes often experience neuropathy. As a result, it is very common for these patients to change their walking posture. When this happens, pressure is put onto areas of the feet in excessive amounts which will cause stress on the foot. Since the patient cannot feel the developing sore, the sore will continue to grow and therefore cause more exposure to infection.
Pain For diabetics, there can be very little pain associated with a foot ulcer. For others, pain can range from simple burning and tingling sensations to severe pain that can only be relieved by taking weight off of the affected limb.
Visual Signs Ulcers can have many different appearances based on the cause. Typically ulcers caused by excessive pressure will look like fresh meat. While ulcers caused by circulatory problems may look like liquid filled sacs beneath the skin.
Treating a foot ulcer can be a very difficult task because poor blood circulation is almost always a factor in ulcer development. With reduced wound healing time, antibiotics can be prescribed to help fight infection. In addition we will use effective bandaging techniques to maximize blood flow while keeping the wound protected from infection. It is also very important that a patient keeps weight off of the sore.
Custom orthotics can be prescribed to adjust the foot into a proper walking position. Proper alignment will allow the bodies weight to be distributed over the foot evenly. By doing this patients will avoid applying excessive pressure on one part of the foot.
When you first come to our practice, Pasco-Hernando Foot & Ankle, our Podiatrist will use the latest technology to perform a comprehensive neurologic, vascular and orthopedic exam. Once the wounds are healed, patients are regularly followed up to help avoid future problems. So, if you have a non-healing wound on your foot, ankle or leg especially if you're diabetic, we strongly recommend that you book an appointment for a comprehensive evaluation.