Posts for category: Diabetes
Arteriosclerosis obliterans effects diabetics about 10 times more often than the non-diabetic population in a given age group. Diabetes probably accelerates the atherosclerotic process. It produces peripheral neuropathy, impairing the patients awareness of local trauma. Resistance to infection is often impaired.It enhances cerebral atherosclerosis.Diabetes interferes with the patient’s ability to care for one’s self and particularly one’s feet.
Since the feet or anatomically the farthest part of the body from the heart, circulation and neurologic changes most often become apparent in the feet before other parts of the body. Since we walk and bear weight on our feet, trauma to them is frequent.
Improved regulation of the diabetic with diet, insulin, and/or anti-diabetic drugs enables diabetics to live long enough to develop atherosclerosis and its complications which affect all vascular areas-the feet, as well as the brain, eyes, heart, and kidney.
Some of the simple things diabetics can do for themselves are:
1-Check feet daily for cuts, cracks, or redness. Report any signs of infection to your podiatrist.
2-Protect feet with adequate shoes.
3-Never wear constricting shoes, socks, or stockings.
5-Do not use home remedies or caustic chemicals on your feet.
Do you have problems with your feet such as bunions, heel pain, swelling, ingrown toenails, fallen arches or other issues? Are you sick and tired of these problems and know you need to do something about it? Or do you simply need a checkup to make sure your feet are okay?
Are you thinking of going to a podiatrist but you simply don’t know who to choose? Many people simply don’t know what to look for.
Caring for your feet is important because, although you may take your feet for granted, you rely on them everyday to get done what you need to get done and to go where you need to go.
Here are 9 important tips to pick the podiatrist that is right for you.
- Schedule an initial consultation with the podiatrist you are considering to learn more about the practice and make sure you are comfortable with who you will be dealing with.
- Make sure the podiatrist presents a variety of options to you in addressing your problem and that he explains the advantages and disadvantage of each. Some podiatrist don’t present all the options because they have not been trained in all the treatment approaches available. Some other unscrupulous podiatrists are only focused on how much money they will make from certain procedures as opposed to recommending the best option.
- Make sure the podiatrist is fully certified by the American Podiatric Medical Association Board of Podiatry. The APMA is an organization of leading podiatrists committed to the highest level of education and continual advancement in the practice of podiatry. This association is comprised of a select group of those practicing podiatry worldwide. Avoid any podiatrist who isn’t a member of this association because this is an indicator that they are not serious about their practice and always interested in staying current on the latest developments in their field.
- Do your research. For example search for online reviews by past patients to see what they say about the podiatrist and his practice. Make sure the podiatrist’s overall review ratings are primarily 5 star. Ask for patient testimonials. Those are usually available during your office visit. If you can’t see positive testimonials beware because this is one indicator that the podiatrist you are considering is someone you don’t want to deal with.
- Observe the office when you are there. Is it neat and organized? Is the equipment well maintained and does it look modern and up to date. How is the staff? Are they friendly, helpful and look like they truly care about your well being?
- Will the podiatrist approach your first meeting as a consultant who will spend adequate time with you listening to your symptoms as he asks questions? Will he spend adequate time with you to some up with the best solution instead of being in a rush to see the next patient?
- What kind of equipment does the podiatrist use? Does the podiatrist have the latest leading edge technology to address your needs in the most effective way? For example here at Advanced Podiatry we are only one of 3 podiatrist in New York state that utilize (equipment name).
- Don’t look for the cheapest podiatrist you can find. Getting your feet cared for properly is a small investment considering how important your feet are for living a healthy productive life without ongoing problems.
- Are same day appointments available if you have a serious issue? Is there a long wait time when you arrive at his office? Your time is valuable and should be respected and accommodated.
A family-friendly podiatry practice will be able to help everyone in your family, from the tiniest little toes to the diabetic foot and everything in between. Does your podiatrist run a family-friendly practice?
For the past twenty years here at Advanced Podiatry we’ve helped thousands of patients take care of their feet. To get the help you need for your feet pick up the phone and call one of our two convenient offices:
Huntington, NY (631) 400-3085
Manhasset, NY (516) 869-3300
Dr. Alison D. Croughan, DPM
Chances are you or someone you know is Diabetic; one in three North Americans is Diabetic. November is National Diabetes Month and in our practice we have been discussing our “Got Sugar” campaign all month long. What exactly does “Got Sugar” mean? Most of our patients, including the newly diagnosed Diabetics present to our office talking about sugar problems. The old age saying “too much of anything is not a good thing” fits this situation perfectly. We all need sugar in our lives; not speaking in terms of flavor, but function. Blood sugar equates to blood glucose which helps fuel our bodies and the function of our organs, body regulation and natural processes.
Your blood sugar is regulated by insulin which is a hormone (produced in the pancreas) in our bodies that helps break down the sugar, carbohydrates, fruits, and vegetables that we eat. Diabetes is a disease where the body either does not have enough insulin or is not using it properly. What does blood sugar have to do with your feet….everything.
Too much glucose in your body directly affects your eyes, kidneys, stomach, skin, immune function, bladder, blood vessels and nerves. Thickened, painful, dry skin, numbness, tingling, burning, weakness, and cramping are symptoms that usually walk into our office as complications of blood sugar that is not controlled properly. What should your numbers be? A fasting blood glucose level taken after not eating for at least eight hours should be between 95-115mg/dl. If your blood glucose level is measured after eating your numbers should be less than 200mg/dl. If your bloodwork is performed and there is a suspicion that you may be Diabetic than a Hemoglobin A1c will be ordered by your medical doctor. The Hemoglobin A1c measures your blood glucose over a three month period and gives us the best idea of how your body is regulating its levels. The goal here is less than 6%.
If you are one of the many today (young or old) that is diagnosed it is not the end of the world. It is where the conversation begins. Diabetes can be controlled with nutrition, exercise and sometimes medications. Awareness is the best type of medicine and in this specific case, prevention is the best defense.
Insurance companies allow preventative care for Diabetic patients (whether Type 1 or 2) and this includes an evaluation of your circulation, sensation, and muscle strength. A Diabetic Foot evaluation in your Podiatrist’s chair also will include the treatment of painful nails, callouses, corns and in some cases wounds. Over sixty percent of Diabetics will suffer from nerve damage due to increased blood glucose called Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy. Most Diabetics are hospitalized due to this type of nerve damage which can result in wounds and amputations of digits or limbs.
What To Do If You are Diagnosed with Diabetes
1. See your Primary Care Physician regularly. And follow their advice. They will get you started on the appropriate regimen after running a few tests.
2. See your Podiatrist as soon as possible and then on a regular basis. If you don’t have one, get one. If you don’t know how to find one, call us, we may know one. We’re like fast food places; you can’t turn around and not run into one.
Why would you need to see a Podiatrist? We keep you moving, literally. No one knows feet better than us. No one. We check everything; your circulation, your nails, skin, foot structure, sensations with various instruments, your gait. We treat any and everything of the feet including corns, callouses, heel spurs, foreign bodies, hammertoes, joint problems, fungal nails, flat feet,
3. Exercise (after approval by your MD). Walking is the best way to begin. Inside or outside, it doesn’t matter. Do not make excuses not to go because of the weather or not liking the treadmill or you’re not a ‘gym’ person. Just Do it.
A number of the gyms in the area are also not expensive. And if you think they are, just think of what your monthly bill is at the pharmacy. Some insurances will offer a break on your premiums if you join a gym. And vice versa.
4. Diet. No, I don’t mean go on one, I mean change it. Eat better. You already know what to and what not to eat. No one has to tell you. If you truly do not know, ask someone in the medical field to direct you to a Nutritionist or a Diabetes Educator. We are all here to help you live a better life from sun up to sundown, every day.
It is also important to note that Medicare has a Diabetic Shoe Program which provides a Diabetic patient with a pair of shoes once a year if they meet the qualifications of the program. These shoes are a bit wider and deeper than those found on the shelf in your local department stores and come with inserts specifically made for Diabetics that mold to your feet to provide cushioning and support where you specifically need it. If you yourself are Diabetic or know someone who is and do not see a Podiatrist on a regular basis please contact our office. Each year the statistics increase in regards to obesity and Diabetes and it is our goal to work with our patients to change these numbers and not let sugar slow them down.