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Posts for category: Diabetic foot condition

By Crofton Podiatry
November 13, 2018
Tags: Diabetes   Ulcers   gangrene   smoking   drinking   nerve damage  

Who can be affected by foot ulcers? Foot ulcers are usually a result of poor circulation, nerve damage, and/or prolonged pressure on the foot. Those who have conditions such as peripheral arterial disease, kidney failure or diabetes are prone to developing foot ulcers due to complications of these diseases. Excessive smoking, drinking or sitting (yes, sitting) can also increase the risk of developing foot ulcers.

What is a foot ulcer? An ulcer is a sore or wound that is slow to heal. The skin can begin to break down and the wound can get deeper, even to the point of exposing bone!

When does a diabetic person get foot ulcers? Once a diabetic person experiences loss of sensation due to nerve damage and poor circulation, ulcers can begin to cause problems. 

Where do foot ulcers appear? Most commonly, ulcers tend to form under the balls of feet, along the arch, on the toes, and on the heels. These are areas that experience the most pressure throughout the day.

Why is it a big problem to have foot ulcers? When left untreated, foot ulcers can become severely infected, leading to gangrene and even amputation.

…and finally, How does having diabetes lead to foot ulcers?

When you have diabetes, your body has a hard time controlling sugar levels.

The direct effect is that having high blood sugar levels damages your nerves. This leads to neuropathy, which causes you to lose feeling in your extremities. When you cannot detect discomfort or pain in your feet, the rest of your body does not have the information it needs to heal sores or wounds.

A diabetic’s body also doesn’t send normal signals to regulate the circulation of fluids and blood, so the ulcer does not receive the nutritive healing factors it needs. If the ulcer becomes infected, it’s that much more difficult to heal!

As you walk and put pressure on your feet, it can cause that part of the skin on your foot to begin to break down and become an ulcer. If you have peripheral neuropathy, you may not even notice it until a couple weeks later, when it’s likely infected.

That’s why it’s important to do foot checks often and take good care of your feet when you have diabetes. If you notice the beginnings of a possible ulcer, consult with our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll, at Crofton Podiatry before you experience complications. Make an appointment by calling (410) 721-4505 or contact us online. Our podiatry team is ready to assist you at our office in Crofton, which also serves the surrounding areas of Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie, MD.

By Crofton Podiatry
July 03, 2018

Have your hands and feet been experiencing numbing, tingling, weakness, or burning? These are primary symptoms of what’s called peripheral neuropathy, a condition in which the nerves are damaged by injuries, infections, or toxins. It can cause problems that result in nerve signals that do not send information properly from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body, including the farthest (peripheral) body parts like the hands and feet.

Who can experience peripheral neuropathy?

There are certain conditions that make it more likely for you to suffer from peripheral neuropathy:

  • Diabetes mellitus – If blood sugar levels are left uncontrolled, especially for those who are diabetic, the excess sugar can damage nerves.
  • Alcoholism – Alcohol abuse can result in damaged nerve tissues. Too much alcohol can become toxic to your nerves.
  • Autoimmune diseases – Diseases that are characterized by chronic inflammation, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus can suffer from nerve damage due to inflammation.
  • Tumors – These overgrowths can directly or indirectly press on nerves, causing nerve signal blockage or damage.
  • Infection – Bacterial and viral infections like Lyme disease and shingles can cause nerve damage as the infectious agents can directly attack the nerves.
  • Toxins or Medications – Long-term exposure to some chemicals and even medications can cause a toxic effect on the nerves.
  • Traumatic Injury – Direct physical damage to the nerves from sports or other injuries, which disrupts the nerve signals.
  • Vitamin deficiency – Vitamin B and niacin are known to be essential for nerve health, so a deficiency could cause problems.

The symptoms of neuropathy in themselves can be uncomfortable or painful, but the secondary complications that can arise from peripheral neuropathy can be worse. Those who have lost feeling in feet are unknowingly susceptible to injuries like cuts, scrapes, or burns. When they go unnoticed and untreated, they can become ulcers and even gangrenous wounds!

Treatments are available to improve symptoms and prevent worsening symptoms. They range from taking pain relievers, anti-seizure medications, vitamin B-12 injections, physical therapy, and electrical current stimulation.

If you believe that your feet may be experiencing symptoms of peripheral neuropathy, come to see our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll, for an assessment at Crofton Podiatry. Call us today at (410) 721-4505 to make an appointment at our Crofton, MD office, which also provides services to the surrounding areas of Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie, MD.




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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