Diabetic Foot Care
The Centers for Disease Control estimates that 29 million people have diabetes in the U.S., which represents more than 9 percent of the total population. The disease causes high levels of glucose in the blood, which can lead to circulatory problems and nerve damage in the feet – a condition known as peripheral neuropathy. A lifetime of proper diabetic foot care from a Chicago and Orland Park podiatrist is important for preventing possible complications of nerve damage and circulation problems.
Did you know…
that approximately half of all people with diabetes with develop peripheral neuropathy? Some will lose only partial feeling in their feet, whereas others may lose all sensation in the feet. Neuropathy may present as numbness, or it may cause a ‘pins-and-needles’ tingling sensation.
Frequently Asked Questions
What types of foot complications can occur in people with diabetes in Chicago and Orland Park?
When diabetic patients develop peripheral neuropathy, they lose feeling in the feet, which increases the risk of developing sores and blisters. If circulation problems are also present, sores may be slow to heal, resulting in infection. Some sores may never heal, which can lead to gangrene and permanent tissue damage. Some people may even require amputation.
What should I expect during a Chicago and Orland Park diabetic foot exam?
A podiatrist is the most qualified medical professional to care for your feet – even if you have diabetes. The Diabetes Association recommends that everyone with diabetes have a comprehensive foot exam every year. If you have foot problems or are experiencing symptoms, your feet will need more frequent exams. During the exam, your Chicago and Orland Park podiatrist will check the skin and soft tissues of your feet, as well as your circulation. The doctor will also examine sensitivity in your feet.
How will my podiatrist help keep my feet healthy?
Your podiatrist can prescribe medications to help reduce tingling, burning or other discomfort in your feet. It is important to keep feet healthy by managing blood glucose levels. Orthopedics may be prescribed to help protect the feet from sores. There are also some steps you can take between appointments to help prevent diabetic foot complications and managing existing ones:
- Avoid walking barefoot to reduce your risk of injury and infection
- Wash your feet daily with soap and water
- Trim toenails straight across
- Keep your feet warm
- Don’t smoke
For more information about diabetic foot care in Chicago and Orland Park, contact our office to schedule an appointment.