If you’re one of the 30.3 million Americans living with diabetes, you’re also at risk of developing diabetic foot problems such as slow healing wounds, calluses, and infections. Orthopedic foot and ankle surgeon Richard J. de Asla, MD, and the team at his eponymous practice in Naples, Florida, regularly work with diabetic patients to diagnose and treat diabetic foot problems. If you’re concerned about the health of your feet, call the office and request your diabetic foot consultation today.
Diabetes is a name given to a group of diseases characterized by high blood glucose or blood sugar. You need blood glucose to survive — it fuels your brain and provides energy for all of the cells in your muscles and tissues. However, if your blood glucose levels remain too high for an extended period of time, it also increases your risk of serious health problems like heart disease, nerve damage, and infections.
Diabetes affects all parts of your body, but your feet and ankles are especially at risk. Unmanaged diabetes prevents adequate circulation to your lower body. As a result, you’re more likely to develop vascular disease, dry, cracked skin, and bone or joint pain.
Other serious foot problems that may occur as a result of diabetes include:
There’s no cure for diabetes, but you can take steps to manage your blood sugar levels. Doing so significantly lowers your risk of developing these and other issues.
If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, it’s important that you physically inspect your feet at least once a day and preferably twice — once in the morning and once at night.
While examining your feet, look for changes or potential problems, such as:
If it’s hard for you to bend over and look at your feet, use va mirror or ask a loved one to assist you with your inspection. If you catch these or other problems, don’t wait to seek medical treatment. The sooner you visit Dr. de Asla, the sooner he can start developing a treatment plan.
During a diabetic foot exam, Dr. de Asla reviews your medical history, asks you about the symptoms you’re experiencing, and conducts a physical exam of your feet and ankles.
During your exam, he observes all aspects of your feet, including your skin, bones and joints, vascular system, and nerves. Dr. de Asla might also order a series of laboratory tests or X-rays to rule out other underlying health problems.
The goal of diabetic foot care is to keep your blood sugar levels in check. Dr. de Asla usually recommends healthy lifestyle changes in coordination with insulin therapy. This includes eating a healthy, balanced diet, exercising regularly, and maintaining a healthy weight. Dr. de Asla might also recommend diabetic shoes or custom orthotics.
If you develop a slow-healing wound or serious ulcer, surgical intervention may be necessary, but this is usually a last resort.
To learn more about diabetic foot care, make an appointment at Richard J. de Asla, MD, by calling the office today.