Diabetes is a chronic health condition that affects millions of people around the world. One of the most serious complications of diabetes is foot problems. There are a number of reasons why people with diabetes are at an increased risk of developing foot problems. In this article, we will explore these reasons and look at how a podiatrist or a foot doctor can help you.
How Does Diabetes Affect Your Health?
Diabetes affects how your body converts the food you eat into energy. If you have diabetes, you have a higher risk of developing foot problems. This is because diabetes can damage the nerves in your feet, which can make it difficult to feel pain or other sensations. It can also damage the blood vessels in your feet, which can slow down the healing process.
Why is it Important to Visit a Podiatrist Regularly?
Foot problems can be serious for people with diabetes. If a foot ulcer develops, it can become infected and lead to amputation. In fact, diabetes is the leading cause of non-traumatic lower limb amputations in the United States.
That’s why it’s so important for people with diabetes to get regular foot care from a podiatrist. A podiatrist is a doctor who specializes in foot health. They can help prevent foot problems, diagnose and treat existing problems, and provide you with education on how to care for your feet at home.
The Benefits of Regularly Visiting a Podiatrist
Here are some of the benefits of regular foot care from a podiatrist for people with diabetes:
Early Detection of Foot Problems
A podiatrist can perform a thorough foot exam and look for any potential problems, such as calluses, corns, ingrown toenails, or ulcers. They can also check the sensation in your feet to detect nerve damage.
Treatment of Foot Problems
If a foot problem is found, a podiatrist can provide treatment to help prevent it from getting worse. This may include debridement (cleaning and removing dead tissue), wound care, prescription medication, or custom orthotics.
Education on Foot Care
A podiatrist can teach you how to care for your feet at home. This includes things like washing your feet daily, inspecting your feet for any problems, and trimming your toenails properly.
Support and Guidance
A podiatrist can provide you with support and guidance on how to manage your diabetes and foot health. They can also help you connect with other resources, such as diabetes educational resources or support groups.
If you have diabetes, it’s important to see a podiatrist for a foot exam at least once a year. You may need to see a podiatrist more often if you have any existing foot problems or if your diabetes is not well-controlled.
Choosing a Podiatrist
Here are some tips for choosing a podiatrist:
- Ask your doctor for a referral.
- Find a podiatrist who is board-certified.
- Make sure the podiatrist has experience treating people with diabetes.
- Ask about the podiatrist’s fees and the insurance plans they accept.
Taking care of your feet is an important part of managing your diabetes. By getting regular foot care from a podiatrist, you can help prevent foot problems and keep your feet healthy.
Tips for Preventing Foot Problems
Here are some additional tips for preventing foot problems in people with diabetes:
- Wash your feet daily with warm, soapy water and dry them thoroughly. Pay special attention to the spaces between your toes.
- Check your feet for any problems daily, including cuts, corns, blisters, calluses, or ingrown toenails. Use a mirror to help you see the bottom of your feet.
- Trim your toenails straight across and file any sharp edges. Do not cut your toenails too short, as this can lead to ingrown toenails.
- Wear shoes that fit properly and provide good arch support. Shoes that are too tight or too loose can put pressure on your feet and cause problems.
- Avoid walking barefoot. This can increase your risk of cuts and injuries.
- Don’t smoke. Smoking can damage the blood vessels in your feet, which can slow down the healing process.
- Control your blood sugar levels. High blood sugar levels can damage the nerves and blood vessels in your feet, making you more susceptible to foot problems.
- Manage your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. High blood pressure and cholesterol levels can also damage the blood vessels in your feet.
- Get regular exercise. Exercise can help improve blood flow to your feet and reduce your risk of foot problems.
By following these tips, you can help keep your feet healthy and prevent foot problems.
The Best Podiatrist in Naples, FL
Diabetic foot care is essential for people with diabetes. By following the tips in this article, you can help keep your feet healthy and prevent foot problems. However, it is also important to see a podiatrist for regular foot exams. They can help you identify any potential problems early on and provide treatment to prevent them from becoming worse.
Are you looking for the best podiatrist in Naples, FL? You can depend on Joint Replacement Institute’s very own Dr. Cody Togher who is a board-certified and fellowship-trained foot and ankle surgeon. As the top foot doctor in Naples, FL, he will make sure you receive nothing short of the best diabetic foot care. You may reach our helpful staff today at (239) 261-2663. You can also use our online request form to book a visit with us.
The Joint Replacement Institute in Naples, FL, looks forward to serving you!