DIABETIC FOOT CARE
Diabetes is one of the most prevalent medical conditions in this country. There are 2 main types of Diabetes: Type I and Type II. Type I appears in children/teens while Type II mostly affects adults. Type II is more commonly seen overall and has a much stronger hereditary/genetic correlation. Diabetics are notorious for forming wounds/ulcerations on their feet. Wounds/ulcerations lead to infections, which if left untreated can turn into amputations and create life-threatening situations. This comes down to 2 main reasons: Neuropathy and Poor Circulation.
Neuropathy refers to an overall decrease of sensation to the extremities. It occurs due to either poor circulation (nerve dying off), or uncontrolled Diabetic glucose levels (nerve gets coated or dulled with high levels of sugar). Lower back pain (such as a pinched nerve, arthritic change, or bulging disk) is another cause of Neuroapthy and may sometimes go hand in hand with the Diabetes. Symptoms vary, from numbness to a sharp, shooting pain to a tingling sensation, or a combination of them. Neuropathy is a danger because if you cannot properly feel pain, then you will not realize when an area is tender, or if were to step on something. As a result, a Diabetic with neuropathy will continue walking on that same area without the knowledge that something is wrong, leading to the forming of a wound or ulceration over time. On top of that, many may not notice until drainage or an odor appears. At that point, there is a high likelihood for an infection to form. While there are many things you could try to combat neuropathy, one product in particular that we do offer at the office and online store is called NeuRx-TF. These are dietary supplements with 2 amino acids which have been shown to help with easing the discomforts of neuropathy.
Poor circulation is defined by an insufficient amount of oxygen-rich blood getting down to the legs and feet. Often times, poor circulation is associated with swelling of the feet and legs, a darkened appearance of the skin on the legs and feet, and/or a cold sensation (though not all cold sensations equal poor circulation). Poor circulation causes wounds and ulcerations because it is essentially like having the tissue underneath die off. Without proper circulation, a wound will not heal and will further perpetuate into more problems/issues.
Our approach to Diabetic foot care is built around the goal of prevention through education. During each exam, we begin by feeling for pulses in the foot/ankle, which is a good indicator of the circulation. We then examine the skin for any issues, or potential issues. If there are concerns, the patient will be notified right away. If there are items we can help with (ie Diabetic shoes/inserts, offloading) then we will get on it ASAP. We also recommend and offer circulation testing, which is a non-invasive method to check the blood flow to the legs and feet. If there are items that we aren't allowed to fully address (poor circulation), then we will refer you to one of the many great vascular surgeons we work with for an opinion and treatment plan. In addition to the examination, we also offer trimming of nails and callouses (usually insurance covered). This ties into the issue with of neuropathy and prevents the patient from getting a cut or wound which they may not know about.
For more information, please feel free to get in touch with us.