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All Posts in Category: Diabetic Footcare

Why You Need Diabetic Shoes

We’ve previously discussed the importance of seeing a podiatrist if you have diabetes. In the post, we discussed how the lower limbs can be affected by the disease – including the potential for limb amputation when protective measures aren’t taken. We also identified proactive diabetic foot care as being better than reactive treatment. Well, one proactive measure you should consider to keep your feet safe is wearing diabetic shoes.

So what are diabetic shoes? There are several features that help distinguish diabetic footwear from “normal” kinds. To start, shoes for those living with diabetes tend to have wider, higher toe boxes, which provide toes with a little extra wiggle room. This is important because toes rubbing against each other—or against a shoe itself—can result in blisters.

Since diabetes often causes nerve damage, it’s quite probable you would be unaware of the friction. The concern here is that a blister can become a diabetic foot ulcer over time – especially when peripheral neuropathy keeps you from knowing you have one.Diabetic Shoes

In addition to extra room to protect your feet, diabetic shoes also provide support for arches, ankles, and heels. These features keep you safe when standing and walking, which is necessary to prevent problems from developing. Specifically, stabilizers in the soles work to correct pronation abnormalities that can cause either excessive or inadequate foot roll with every step. This stabilization can further help reduce the risk of blisters, along with offloading pressure that could otherwise be concentrated on areas not equipped to handle it naturally.

With regards to inside-the-shoes features, the shoes you are buying shouldn’t have any inner seams that could potentially rub against your foot and cause blisters. When buying new shoes, take a moment to run your fingers around inside them to ensure the inner lining is smooth.

Yet another reason you may need special shoes when you have diabetes is because these ones feature removable insoles. The importance of this is connected to the fact we may need to prescribe an orthotic device at some point. If we do, you’ll need to be able to take the insoles out so you can fit the orthotic into the shoe.

Remember, if you have diabetes, you should have a diabetic foot care plan to follow so your feet will be safe. In the event you need one, we can help you with this. Of course, you should be coming in to see us for regularly-scheduled appointments anyhow!

For more information—or to make sure you are wearing the proper footwear if you have diabetes—contact our Chicago office. No matter if you have questions that need to be answered or you want to request an appointment with us, we will be glad to help. Either contact us online, or give us a call (Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays) at (773) 586-0050.

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Why Diabetic Wounds Need Treatment ASAP

We are proud to provide patients with many valuable services here at our Chicago podiatrist office, but perhaps one of the most important is diabetic foot care. Keeping the lower limbs safe requires education and early treatment when an individual has diabetes.

Diabetes affects the body in a variety of ways—including causing alarming damage to vital body systems—but one that is quite easy to overlook is the role it has in foot health and safety.

One of the body systems that can be impacted by the disease is the circulatory system. Diabetes can cause and contribute to peripheral arterial disease (PAD) – a condition marked by constricted blood vessels. When you stop and consider the fact that the lower appendages are already the farthest points on the body from the heart, it stands to reason that impaired circulation caused by diabetes makes it difficult for feet and toes to receive the nourishment they need.

Diabetic Wound Care

In addition to restricted blood flow, another condition often accompanying diabetes and putting the body at risk for serious medical emergencies is peripheral neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy can diminish the ability for the body to feel pain and recognize when an injury is present. Between the two factors, a diabetic individual can sustain a minor wound, be completely unaware of it, and not treat the issue. Given the body’s compromised circulatory and immune systems, the wound will continue to break down.

A wound that continues to progress is known as a diabetic foot ulcer. Diabetic ulcers are a leading cause for lower limb amputations and have a mortality rate that is higher than the rates for prostate, colon, and breast cancers.

Early treatment can prevent wounds from breaking down to the point of ulceration, which is obviously quite important. Given the impaired sensitivity, a key pillar of a diabetic foot care plan is a daily foot inspection. This careful inspection will alert you to any issues that need to be addressed. If you discover anything out of the ordinary, come see us as soon as possible.

Speaking of seeing us, if you have been diagnosed with diabetes—or think you may have this disease—contact our office to set up an appointment. Together, we can create a diabetic foot care plan centered on preventative measures and early detection and treatment to keep your feet safe. Call us for more information at (773) 586-0050 (Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays are best for calling).

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Why You Need to See the Podiatrist if You Have Diabetes

Whether you’ve only recently been diagnosed or you’ve been living with diabetes for a long time—maybe your entire life—your condition can make life feel overwhelming at times. We get it. Diabetes doesn’t have to stop you from a full, active, normal life, though. If you want to stay healthy, you need the discipline to keep doing the little things day after day, month after month, year after year.

Fortunately, you’re not alone. There’s a whole world of people out there who can understand and support you, and medical professionals of all disciplines specialized in getting you the care you need. That said, if your current diabetes team doesn’t currently include a podiatrist, you should make an appointment as soon as you can.

Bashful feet

While diabetes affects systems throughout the body, your feet are among the most vulnerable locations. The slowing of circulation, weakening of nerve function, and reduction in immune response are often felt first—and felt worst—in the toes, feet, and ankles. As you begin to lose the ability to feel your feet, as well as the ability to close wounds and fight infections, even small cuts and blisters could lead to massive sores and serious infections. If not treated in time, that could mean a necessary amputation—and a permanent reduction in your independence and quality of life.

This is why you need a podiatrist on your team. For starters, we have the tools and training to help you get the treatment you need for an existing sore or wound, so that it doesn’t become something worse. But even if your feet seem to look and feel fine, a podiatrist can help you test and screen for circulatory or nerve issues and stop them before they occur. We can also help you manage your long-term risk by addressing any structural foot problems (like flat feet, bunions, arch issues, abnormal gait) that can contribute to ulceration.

We know—no one is especially excited to see another doctor, another specialist, especially if it feels like nothing is wrong (yet). But trust us: diabetic foot care is one area where you need to be proactive, rather than reactive. That’s why we recommend a complete diabetic checkup with a podiatrist at least once per year, even if you’ve never had problems with ulcers before.

If it’s time for your checkup—or past time—give us a call! Hours are by appointment; the best times to call are on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursday. We look forward to seeing you!

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Proper diabetic foot care is critical if you want to prevent complications and maintain healthy feet.

Your Diabetic Foot Care Checklist

It’s easy to take your feet for granted—right up until the point they start hurting. Unfortunately, for people with diabetes, that may already be too late. Diabetes poisons nerves and chokes circulation in the feet, which means that if you aren’t paying attention even small cuts could become infected ulcers. At that point, you’re looking at emergency wound care, a long recovery, and possibly even amputation.

How do you avoid such a fate? It’s not necessarily difficult, but it does require a little patience and some discipline. Make yourself a diabetic foot care checklist, and stick to it! Here are the essentials:

  • Wash and dry your feet every day with lukewarm-to-warm water, then dry them thoroughly.
  • Apply a moisturizing lotion or cream to the tops and bottoms of your feet every day.
  • Schedule yourself for a foot exam every day at a regular time. This should only take about 5 minutes or so. Look at and feel your feet for any problems, from cuts, bumps, and discoloration to temperature fluctuations and dry skin. Use a hand mirror or recruit a friend if you can’t see your entire foot closely. Problems that persist beyond a few days, or seem to get worse, should be checked by a podiatrist immediately.
  • Trim your toenails whenever necessary. It’s important that they aren’t too long or too short, and that you cut straight across rather than rounding the corners. Smooth the edges with an emery board. If you ever need assistance maintaining your toenails, it is always best to see a podiatrist.
  • Wear soft, clean, dry socks with no interior seams to irritate skin.
  • Wear shoes that fit well, provide good support, and are made from breathable material.
  • Change socks and shoes whenever they become dirty or sweaty. Own at least two pairs of everyday shoes so you can switch between them every other day.
  • Never go barefoot, even at home.
  • Schedule a checkup with Dr. Walters at least once per year, potentially more if you have a history of foot issues. These annual exams are an opportunity for us to provide additional care and to test your feet for complications such as neuropathy or peripheral artery disease.

To schedule your exam or report any current problems with your feet, please call our office in Garfield Ridge, Chicago at (773) 586-0050, or submit an appointment request via our online form.

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