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Do you have diabetes? If so, you know that your feet can become more prone to issues and infections due to long-term impairment of the nervous and circulatory systems. What can you do? For optimal care of your feet, partner with your Chicago foot and ankle doctors at Affiliated Podiatrists.
Podiatric care for the diabetic
Diabetic foot and ankle care is one of the most important services your doctors at Affiliated Podiatrists offer. Why? it’s because a person with diabetes is prone to infection due to a lowered immune system. He or she also heals slowly, has reduced peripheral circulation, and impaired nerve function (peripheral neuropathy). To avoid serious complications from diabetes, your Chicago podiatrist urges you to come to the office regularly for visual inspection of your feet and prompt treatment of any concerning issues.
What happens at a podiatric examination
Your foot and ankle doctor will inspect your feet visually, looking for any swelling, redness, sores or lacerations. Also, he’ll look for any deformities such as bunions or hammertoes because, for the diabetic, these issues cause pressure points which can lead to ulcerations, corns and calluses.
If necessary, your podiatrist will order X-rays and other imaging, along with blood work, particularly if he suspects an infection. He may confer with the primary care physician about his findings. Then, the foot and ankle doctor will write a customized care plan to outline his recommendations for treatment of immediate problems and for continuing maintenance going forward.
Common sense care for your feet
Whether or not you have diabetes, please consider a routine foot care regimen. Your feet help you stand, walk, accomplish your activities of daily living, go to work, play sports and much more. The staff at Affiliated Podiatrists advises the following:
- Wash and dry your feet thoroughly every day.
- Wear properly fitting shoes with ample room in the toes.
- Alternate pairs of shoes to avoid pressure points.
- Inspect your feet daily, looking for pressure points, cuts, excessive dryness and blisters.
- If you smoke, stop, as cigarettes hinder peripheral circulation.
- Control your blood sugars, cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
- If you have peripheral neuropathy, track your symptoms, and report them to your podiatrist.
- Wear diabetic shoes or customized orthotics as prescribed.
- Exercise to promote good circulation.
- Don’t use heating pads or hot water bottles if you are diabetic and have neuropathy.
- Don’t sit with your legs crossed as this affects circulation.
- Wear shoes when indoors and out of doors to avoid injury.
- Never self-treat calluses, cuts, corns or blisters. See your podiatrist right away.
- Call Affiliated Podiatrists at the first indication of a problem with your feet (redness, swelling, unhealed blisters, unexplained pain).