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Diabetes and the foot

Sponsored Content by Foot Specialists of South Mississippi

November is national diabetes month and over 37 million Americans are living with diabetes and every year over 20,000 Mississippians receive a diagnosis. Diabetes is a chronic condition that can cause complications to the cardiovascular system, eyes, kidneys, and left unmanaged possibly lead to amputations of the toes, foot, and even part of the leg.

A person properly managing diabetes can increase his or her life expectancy up to 10 years. A podiatrist plays an important role in care management of the diabetic foot. Diabetes may cause a person to lose feeling at the end of the toes and tingling at the bottom of the foot, referred to as diabetic neuropathy. This can make even the smallest issue of the foot dangerous for the diabetic patient. The loss of feeling may make stepping on a foreign object or a blister forming from improper foot wear unknown and lead to unattended cuts or sores. You may not realize that an injury has occurred until it is red or showing signs of infection.

An ingrown nail or sore of the toe or bottom of the diabetic foot can quickly lead to an open wound or ulcers causing an infection of the bone without treatment. Your podiatrist can help manage ingrown nails and wounds with regular visits and a care plan. In extreme cases of diabetic ulcers an amputation may be needed; a scenario that can dramatically impact a persons lifestyle and life expectancy. Including your podiatrist as part of your diabetes management team may lower the risk of an amputation by 85 percent and can lower hospitalization by 25 percent.

If you develop a diabetic ulcer your podiatrist will access the size, depth, and location of the wound. The physician’s office will also check the blood flow to the area to make sure oxygen is getting to the trauma area. If there are any issues you may be referred to a cardiovascular specialist. Once determined that blood flow is normal and any infections are controlled the podiatrist can begin a treatment of the ulcer. The treatment and management may include removing damaged or nov-viable tissues, bracing the wound to keep pressure off, medication to help the wound close, and diabetic shoes. Our office does offer diabetic shoes that can accommodate different feet and we can provide custom insoles to offload problem areas.

Most insurance plans will cover the cost of the diabetic shoe.

Keeping a foot care routine is essential, here are a few foot and toe tips:

  • Check your feet daily. Check your feet and toes every day for cuts, bruises, sores, or changes to the toenails.
  • Wash feet every daily. Pat dry feet and dry between the toes.
  • Wear thick, soft socks. Avoid socks with seams, which could rub and cause blisters.
  • Exercise. Walking can keep weight down and improve circulation.
  • Have new shoes properly measured and fitted. Foot size and shape may change over time.
  • Don’t go barefoot. Even wear supportive house shoes to protect against cuts and scrapes.
  • Never try to remove calluses, corns, or warts. Over-the-counter products can burn the skin and cause irreparable damage to the foot for people with diabetes.

It is important to visit Foot Specialists of South Mississippi if you notice changes in your foot, cuts, or wounds that are not healing in a timely manner especially if you have diabetes. It is our motto to Save a Limb, Save a Life.

Request a consultation with Foot Specialists of South Mississippi.
(228) 818-2801
999 N. Halstead Road, Ocean Springs

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