Our Podiatrists In Miami & Hialeah Can Help With Your Diabetic Foot Health
Diabetes is becoming more and more common, mostly due to the increased overweight population. Many times a podiatrist is the first to diagnose diabetes, due to an issue that arises in the feet. Numbness, a non-healing wound, or chronic infection are all foot issues that are related to diabetes. It is vital that all persons suffering from diabetes in Miami establish a relationship with a podiatrist. The diabetic foot specialists at PerfectFeetCare Podiatry Centers is just the right choice.
DIABETIC FOOT CARE
Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects up to 6% of the population. When diabetes is present, either the body produces less or no insulin or the body tissues are resistant to the effects of diabetes. This results in higher levels of glucose in the blood, which can damage a whole range of body tissues and organs.
Care of the feet are essential to diabetics because of the direct effect diabetes has on the feet. Diabetes can damage the nerves, leading to a painful or numb condition called peripheral neuropathy. Diabetes also can lead to poor circulation, which can slow the healing process when damage occurs. Also, diabetics are more prone to infection and are slower to resolve infections due to poor circulation. Because of these issues, diabetics are more prone to such issues such as a completely insensitive foot, foot ulcers, foot deformities due to advanced neuropathy, and persistant infections in the feet. The best course of action is to prevent all of these problems from occurring.
Prevention And Treatment
Your PerfectFeetCare Podiatry Centers specialists have an extremely important role to play in the prevention and management of complications of the foot in those with diabetes. All those who are at risk for a problem should have that risk status assessed at least twice annually, and more if the risk is greater. Your podiatrist should communicate this risk status to other members of the health care team. Advice should be given on how to reduce the chance of damage happening, what to do to prevent it and what to do if something does go wrong.
Regular foot care from a podiatrist is a key way to prevent problems from developing in those who are at risk. Diabetic shoes and insoles are another way to manage pressures beneath the feet that could become ulcers.
When something does go wrong, call our office immediately. Waiting a "few days to see what happens" before seeing someone may be the difference between a good and poor outcome. The sooner treatment is started the better. If you are diabetic and think you have a problem, call now for an immediate appointment, or request your appointment online here.
WOUND CARE (FOOT ULCERS)
Patients with diabetes are prone to the development of foot ulcers. After years of elevated blood sugar, both nerves and small blood vessels in the feet are damaged. Patients therefore do not feel small injuries occur, and damage to the circulation predisposes people to the development of wounds that may not heal. Diabetes also affects the immune system, leading to an increase chance of infection of foot ulcers.
Ulcers can form on the feet of people with diabetes, usually after an injury or in places that receive constant pressure, such as the ball of the foot. Further testing can be done to assess the circulation of the foot, and to determine the extent of the loss of sensation.
Because pain from infection or enlarging of an ulcer might not be felt, diabetic foot ulcers need to be closely monitored for progression or infection. Calluses on the foot or around the wound should also be monitored regularly and treated when necessary. In some cases, alterations can be made to footwear to promote healing. Topical medications can be applied to encourage wound healing.
Diabetic ulcers may become deep or infected. In cases of bone infection, long courses of intravenous antibiotics may be required. In some cases amputation of the affected toe may be necessary.
Charcot foot is a condition causing weakening of the bones in the foot that can occur in people who have significant nerve damage (neuropathy). The bones are weakened enough to fracture, and with continued walking the foot eventually changes shape. As the disorder progresses, the joints collapse and the foot takes on an abnormal shape, such as a rocker-bottom appearance.
Charcot foot is a very serious condition that can lead to severe deformity, disability, and even amputation. Because of its seriousness, it is important that patients with diabetes-a disease often associated with neuropathy-take preventive measures and seek immediate care if signs or symptoms appear.
The diagnosis of Charcot foot can be made on the basis of loss of normal shape and structure of the foot and ankle. This can bee seen on physical exam, and demonstrated by X-ray or MRI.
Ideally, the treatment of Charcot foot includes treatment of the underlying condition causing the loss of sensation. During acute pain, the foot can be immobilized and anti-inflammatory medication can be taken. Measures are taken to maintain the proper shape and weight bearing of the foot and ankle.
As Charcot foot progresses, chronic ulcers can develop. These are painful and can lead to infection.