An estimated 30 million people in the United States live with diabetes. Unfortunately, foot problems are very common in people with diabetes. Because of this, if you have diabetes, you should regularly see a podiatrist. In this blog, Kerry E. Berg, DPM, at Intermountain Foot & Ankle Associates discusses how a podiatrist can help keep your feet healthy.
Diabetes can have a profound impact on a sufferer’s overall health and on specific body parts as well. Parts of the body that are commonly affected by diabetes include the eyes, heart, and kidneys. It’s not unusual to see multiple specialists for each of these organs.
Diabetes can also affect your feet, which means you need a podiatrist experienced in diabetic foot care who can monitor your feet and treat them if needed. The following are some of the ways that having high blood sugar levels can affect your feet:
High blood sugar levels can, over time, lead to nerve damage, particularly in your feet. This nerve damage can lead to neuropathy, which can cause numbness or a lack of sensation in your toes and feet. This can put you at a greater risk of developing infections and even lead to the need for amputation in severe cases.
Feet don’t usually heal as well as they should with people who have diabetes. Foot sores, also called foot ulcers, are sometimes painless, but they’re also a common cause of hospital stays in people with diabetes. Foot ulcers can take several weeks to heal.
Foot ulcers almost always require medical treatment. Dr. Berg treats foot ulcers with a variety of methods, including removing dead skin (debridement), fitting you for diabetic shoes, and prescribing oral antibiotics and topical treatments to promote healing.
When you have diabetes, you need to be proactive about taking care of your feet to prevent getting infections or ulcers. Some of the best steps you can take to protect your feet include the following:
You should have regular checkups with Dr. Berg at least twice a year to check on the general health of your feet. But, you should also call at the first sign of any problems, such as redness, swelling, or pain.
To learn more about taking care of your feet if you have diabetes, book an appointment online or over the phone with Intermountain Foot & Ankle Associates today.