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.
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).