Diabetic Foot Care to Keep Feet Safe
This is not news for those who live with the disease, but diabetes has widespread health implications across the body. Some of the potential risks include strokes, heart disease, and loss of consciousness. In addition to these particular medical issues, diabetes can cause heightened concern about your foot health.
The offices of Wilks Advanced Foot Care are committed to providing diabetic foot care services to keep you and your loved ones safe. This starts with educating you about the disease itself, how it affects feet, and what preventative measures need to be taken.
An Introduction to Diabetes
Diabetes is a disease that disrupts the body’s ability to produce sufficient quantities of insulin or takes away the ability for cells to respond properly to insulin. Both of these issues can be present concurrently.
Insulin is an essential hormone that regulates glucose levels in the blood stream by permitting sugar to enter cells to be used as an energy source. This natural process is disturbed when cells become resistant to the insulin or the body does not produce enough of the hormone. Instead of being used by the cells, the glucose stays in the blood stream, leading to elevated blood sugar levels that have the potential to cause long-term problems.
How Diabetes Affects Feet
There are two particular issues that are commonly associated with diabetes which work together to create a dangerous threat to foot health. The first of these is peripheral arterial disease (PAD). Individuals with diabetes often have poor circulation, which is an especially big problem for feet, given that they are already the body’s furthest points from the heart. Impaired blood flow makes it difficult for feet to receive the nourishment they need.
The other common issue is diabetic neuropathy. This concerning condition results in damaged nerves that lose their ability to transmit messages to the central nervous system (spine and brain). The inherent danger of neuropathy is that an injury can be sustained without the individual being aware of it. Left untreated, minor issues can then snowball into serious medical problems.
Understanding Diabetic Foot Care
In order to lessen the risk of a serious medical emergency, you need to take measures to both protect the feet and detect issues at their earliest stages. An effective foot care plan includes:
- Daily Foot Inspections – With a diminished ability to experience physical sensations, diabetic individuals must inspect their feet every day —tops, bottoms, and between the toes—and check for cuts, scrapes, bruises, and anything else that is out of the ordinary.
- Proper Hygiene Practices – Infections pose a greater risk for diabetic individuals on account of a weakened immune system and poor circulation. To head off problems, feet should be washed daily with a mild soap and warm (not hot!) water.
- Careful Nail Trimming – Ingrown nails increase the risk of infection. To help prevent them, toenails should be trimmed straight across and maintained so that they are even with the edges of toes.
- Foot Protection – Proper footwear always needs to be worn, even when indoors. Before putting on diabetic socks and shoes, the insides should be inspected to make sure there is nothing inside them that could potentially damage the feet.
- Regularly-Scheduled Foot Exams – keeping your scheduled appointments with Jason Wilks, DPM is a smart way to ensure that everything is okay.
The Importance of Diabetic Foot Care
A comprehensive foot care plan is a necessary tool to protect your feet and reduce the risk of issues developing. Early detection of any abnormalities will enable you to receive help when the problems are in their most treatable stages. If you do not already have a plan in place, come see G. Jason Wilks, DPM and he will help you create one that keeps you safe.
Those aforementioned conditions of diabetic neuropathy and peripheral arterial disease form a very dangerous one-two punch that can result in issues like Charcot foot or even gangrene (tissue death). Charcot foot frequently results in severe deformity, and cases of gangrene are irreversible and often require amputation to prevent the spread of dangerous infection.
Diabetic Foot Care Services in Roseburg, OR
The office of G. Jason Wilks, DPM is here to provide assistance with any facet of foot care you or your loved one requires. We can help you create a plan to keep you safe, and also offer effective prevention and treatment options. Contact us today for more information by calling (541) 673-0742 or schedule an appointment with our Roseburg, OR office online.