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By Crofton Podiatry
November 21, 2017
Category: Diabetes
Tags: corns   calluses   Diabetes   Ulcers   gangrene  

As part of American diabetes month, we wanted to share with you how it can affect your feet. High blood sugar levels caused by diabetes can damage your nerves, leading to  neuropathy. This direct problem can lead to complications from even the smallest injuries or conditions.

It starts with neuropathy.

When diabetes is not properly controlled, your nerves are at risk for damage. In particular, the legs and feet begin to tingle, burn, and/or lose feeling completely. Treatments can be used to slow down progression and relieve symptoms, but once it has begun its course, diabetic patients become more at risk for foot complications because of neuropathy, including:

  • Poor circulation – Because the nerves signal how the body functions, damaged nerves can mean that blood does not reach certain parts of the body. You may experience decreased blood flow to the feet, which means that fighting infection and wounds is more difficult.
  • Ulcers, Gangrene – With neuropathy, it is more likely that cuts or injuries can go unnoticed. A seemingly small issue can become more complicated, since the healing process is slowed down due to poor circulation. Ulcers can form and deep infections can even get to the point of causing gangrene. When this problem is left untreated, amputation may become necessary to prevent further complications.
  • Calluses, Corns – Because you lose feeling in the feet, you may not realize how much friction your feet endure in your shoes. It can cause calluses and corns that thicken part of your skin. Ultimately, they can begin to break down and become an ulcer if left untreated. You should use a pumice stone when you see calluses and corns on your feet, and seek help from our podiatrist if you cannot get a good handle on it.
  • Dry Skin – The skin on the feet can become irritated or dry, without you realizing it. The lack of sensation and nerve damage contribute to your body not replenishing oils and moisture to the feet’s skin. Pay attention to your feet and moisturize after daily foot washing.

Remember to check and wash your feet daily, being careful not to burn your feet in hot water. This is an important part of taking care of diabetic feet. If you notice problems with your diabetic feet, consult with our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll at Crofton Podiatry before complications worsen. Make an appointment by calling (410) 721-4505 to receive a thorough assessment. Our team is ready to assist you at our Crofton, MD office, which also serves the surrounding Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie areas.

By Crofton Podiatry
November 08, 2017
Category: Diabetes
Tags: Diabetes   nutritional   activity  

After a diagnosis of diabetes, you may begin to worry about how you’re going to handle your body’s changes. Since blood sugar levels can spike or drop unexpectedly, it’s important to focus on some of the following key changes in your lifestyle.

  • Eat healthy: One of the best ways to help regulate your blood sugar levels is by eating consistent healthy meals. Avoid foods that are high in sugar, fat, and carbohydrates (which turn into sugar). Whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, as well as lean meats are part of a nutritional diet for diabetics. Your medication will have a direct affect on how much food you eat. Too little food could be countered with too much insulin, resulting in a drop in blood sugar, and too much food could mean too little insulin, resulting in a spike in blood sugar.  
  • Use and store medication properly: Because medication is so important to proper function, be sure to use and store them properly. Expired or tainted meds can make insulin ineffective.
  • Exercise regularly: Regular physical activity helps your body use insulin more effectively. Sports, walking, and even gardening use glucose, which can improve blood sugar levels. Remember to keep track of your blood sugar levels so that you do not risk injury from levels that are too low or too high.
  • Manage stress: Stress can make your blood sugar go up. It can also make you lose track of your schedule, eat more or less, and forget to exercise. These things can cause chaos in controlling your blood sugar levels, so you should find ways to manage stress, like scheduling rest, and activities like taking a walk or practicing yoga.
  • Reduce drinking alcohol and stop smoking: These unhealthy habits can make it harder to manage your blood sugar levels. Smoking can make risk of complications higher, especially for cardiovascular and kidney disease. When you drink too much alcohol, not only can you lose track of blood sugar levels, you may not be prudent with glucose tests and/or administering the appropriate amount of insulin medication.
  • Use orthotic shoes: For our patients that have started to experience diabetic neuropathy, you may want to look into shoes that are geared for safety and comfort. When your feet lose sensation, you won’t know if your muscles or ligaments are uncomfortable or in pain. It’s best to wear shoes that are protective (from injury), supportive, and cushioned to prevent issues.

Additionally, here are some tips for taking care of diabetic feet. Be sure to check your feet each day for any new signs of injury. If you are unsure about caring for diabetic feet, consult with our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll at Crofton Podiatry. Make an appointment by calling (410) 721-4505 to receive a thorough assessment. Our team is ready to assist you at our Crofton, MD office, which also serves the surrounding Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie, MD areas.

By Crofton Podiatry
November 01, 2017
Category: Diabetes
Tags: Diabetes  

Those with diabetes know the effects it can have on your body and lifestyle once symptoms begin. Meals, exercise, rest and blood glucose monitoring must all be planned out, and the smallest change can lead to symptoms of high or low blood sugar, such as nausea, dizziness, confusion (for high blood sugar), and headache, weakness, shaking, and sweating (for low blood sugar).

Diabetes is not a rare disorder. The most recent data suggest that just under 30 million US adults have diabetes and about 1 of 4 do not know they have it. The exact causes of both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are unknown, but it seems that genetics and environmental factors seem linked. If you have risk factors of diabetes, it’s helpful to get checked and begin to make changes to prevent progression to Type 2 diabetes.

In the general public, not much is known about how insulin plays a role in blood sugar and diabetes. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar. In Type 1, the pancreas doesn’t make insulin anymore, whereas in Type 2, your body does not use insulin properly. With the high rate of prevalence in US adults, it’s important to become more aware and educated about the disease.

The following are signs of diabetes:

  • Hunger and fatigue affects you more than usual.
  • You are thirsty and urinate often.
  • Dry mouth and dry skin.
  • Your vision can become blurry.
  • Type 1: Nausea and vomiting, weight loss
  • Type 2: Yeast infections, slow-healing cuts, pain or numbness in feet or legs.

How does diabetes affect the feet?

High blood sugar levels can cause damage to nerves and blood vessels, particularly in the feet. It can lead to diabetic peripheral neuropathy where the feet and legs lose sensation, have decreased blood flow and poor circulation. It can make it harder for you to notice if you have an injury or infection and healing can be very slow. Review these tips for taking care of diabetic feet.

What can you do to lower your risk?

For Type 1, risk factors include: genetics, environment, diet (e.g. low vitamin D). For Type 2, risk factors include: being overweight, inactivity, family history, race, age (older than 45), high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. For Type 1 diabetes symptoms tend to occur quickly, whereas for Type 2, you can mitigate effects by making changes:

  • Manage your weight. Your goal is to maintain a healthy weight by eating a nutritional diet and increase activity to at least 3 times a week.
  • Monitor blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels.
  • Stop smoking and reduce other unhealthy habits. 
By Crofton Podiatry
January 04, 2017
Category: Diabetes
Tags: foot soaks   winter boots   moisturizer  

For diabetics, foot care is important every day of the year. In the winter, however it is particularly important to keep feet healthy because of the added winter-related risks. As you lose feeling in your feet, it is important to keep warm to prevent frostbite.

Here are some tips that we’d like to offer you to keep healthy and warm this winter:

  • Continue to inspect your feet every day. Look for signs of bacterial or fungal infections that may happen
  •  from getting sweaty in warm footwear. Also make sure that the skin on your feet is moisturized to prevent cracking.
  • Winter boots, while meant to be warm and waterproof, can still get wet inside. Snow/rain can sneak in or if your feet are too warm, your feet can get sweaty. Either way, wet feet in these circumstances can cause you to be even colder, or put you at higher risk of bacterial or fungal infections. Try not to wear the same shoes every day and make sure to air them out often.
  • A warm foot soak or bath can help you feel better in cold weather. However, make sure you check the temperature of the water before putting your feet in hot water to reduce risk of burning your feet! The same goes for if you are warming your feet on a heating pad or fireplace.
  • Brave the cold. The cold makes us all want to cuddle up on the couch or in bed with a warm blanket and hot cup of cocoa. However, you shouldn’t make the cold an excuse to become sedentary. Try to do some exercises indoors and get creative with ways you can keep moving and circulation going. Your end goal should be to keep active and control the warm sugary treats you might wish to indulge in.

Diabetic foot care can be tricky. If you have any concerns about your feet, please come see our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll. For further questions about these tips, or for more information, make an appointment with us at Crofton Podiatry. We serve patients living in the Crofton, MD and the surrounding Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie areas, so call us today at (410) 721-4505. 

By Crofton Podiatry
August 03, 2016
Category: Diabetes

Diabetics are more likely to have foot issues, mainly because of decreased blood flow to extremities, as well as loss of feeling in the feet. Losing feeling can be dangerous for diabetics because they may not treat foot injuries when they are small. The restricted blood flow can make matters worse by slowing the healing process of your injuries. 

 

If you are already dealing with diabetes-related foot issues, come see our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll, to receive the highest level of care for your precious means of everyday mobility. For those who are at high risk of foot issues, the following is a list of preventative measures you can take for diabetic foot care.

 

  1. Give your feet a daily check-up and clean them every day. Look for any sign of issue or injury, such ingrown toenails or cut that you may not have noticed. Wash your feet in warm water. Make sure it is not too hot as to burn your feet without realizing. Dry your feet completely to prevent fungal infection.
  2. Stay hydrated for overall skin maintenance. For your feet in particular, moisturize the tops and bottoms to keep the skin from drying out and cracking. 
  3. If you have lost feeling in your toes, inspect your toenails often to make sure your toenails are not ingrown. If you find ingrown toenails, it is best to have a podiatrist take care of them since you are unable to feel if you are causing more harm to your toes by trying to treat the ingrown toenails. 
  4. Be active to encourage circulation to your feet. This will help with any healing processes and prevent excessive swelling. 
  5. While you should give your feet breathing room, you should try to always wear socks and shoes or slippers to prevent injury by stepping on something or stubbing your toes. 
  6. You may need special orthotic shoes if you notice that your feet are becoming disfigured or if you have corns and calluses. Dr. Toll will be able to assess and review options with you. 

 

If you need more guidance about diabetic foot care, make an appointment with us at Crofton Podiatry at our office in Crofton, MD.  Call us today at (410) 721-4505. Dr. Toll and his staff will help you treat your diabetic foot issues with the latest technologies and expert medical advice.

 



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2411 Crofton Lane, Suite 25
Crofton, MD 21114

Podiatrist - Crofton, Crofton Podiatry, 2411 Crofton Lane, Suite 25, Crofton MD, 21114 (410) 721-4505