Diabetes is a serious disease that can negatively impact your entire body—and, if uncontrolled, its effects on your feet and toes can be particularly devastating. That's why, at Capital Podiatry Associates, diabetic foot care is an essential part of our practice. We not only effectively treat problems that arise but also provide the expert preventative care needed to keep them from becoming problems in the first place.
Living with diabetes? Here's what you need to know.
How Diabetes Can Affect Your Feet
Diabetes can have major consequences for your feet. It can damage—or even destroy—the nerves, resulting in a condition known as diabetic neuropathy. Affecting sensation in the feet, neuropathy can cause tingling, shooting pain, or numbness. Eventually, you might begin to lose feeling in your feet entirely, which can lead to injuries and sores that go unnoticed. That in itself is bad enough, but it becomes especially dangerous when combined with reduced blood flow.
Our blood carries the oxygen and nutrients our cells need to conduct operations such as tissue repair. If you develop an injury on your foot, reduced circulation can mean that it takes much longer to heal. Combine reduced healing capability with a lack of sensation, and you have a recipe for disaster. You could be walking or bearing weight on a hard-to-heal sore or injury and not even know it. This is how small nicks and irritations can turn into large ulcers and how infections that may lead to amputation can develop. Thankfully, with the right care, you can avoid reaching such a dangerous point.
Diabetic Foot Care That Covers All the Bases
The best diabetic foot care plan includes both daily personal attention and regular professional care. If you have diabetes, checking your feet every day is one of the most important things you can do to protect your health and your future.
Even if you don't feel like your feet have lost any sensation now, diabetic foot problems have a way of slowly creeping up on you. Daily foot checks and regular podiatric care can help stop problems in their tracks.
Commit to a convenient time to check your feet. This can be before or after you get in the shower or right before bed. Visually inspect your feet for signs of injury, sores, discoloration, ingrown toenails, warts, blisters, or anything else that just shouldn't be there. If you have trouble seeing your entire foot, a mirror (or a selfie stick) may help. You can also feel along areas of your feet carefully with your hands or ask a loved one for help.
If you find something unusual, let us know, and we'll take it from there. We may ask you to keep an eye on the condition to see whether it improves or have you come into the office so we can address the issue directly.
Additionally, periodic office visits are important, even when things seem fine. This allows us to chart a timeline of your foot problems, as well as identify and address any issues that could cause problems later on, such as changes in gait or balance. Of course, when problems needing immediate attention occur, we'll get you in for evaluation and treatment as soon as possible.
Request an Appointment
Podiatric care has an essential role to play in your diabetes management plan. Partner with Capital Podiatry Associates to protect—or restore—the health of your feet, toes, or ankles. Contact us today to request an appointment with one of our diabetic foot care specialists. Complete our online contact form or call our Alexandria office at (703) 560-3773.