When you have diabetes, routine care is essential to protect your feet. At Ambulatory Foot & Ankle Clinic, which has four locations in Pocatello, Soda Springs, Idaho Falls, and Montpelier, Idaho, as well as two in Thayne and Jackson, Wyoming, expert podiatrists Adam Matthews, DPM, and Karson Howard, DPM, provide individualized diabetic foot care. Regular diabetic foot exams, vascular testing, and nail and callus care are just a few ways Ambulatory Foot & Ankle Clinic can help keep your feet healthy with diabetes. Call or book an appointment online to learn more.
Diabetes is a chronic condition that develops from high glucose (sugar) levels in the blood. Over time, too much glucose can damage the blood vessel walls. Without healthy blood circulation, your lower extremities are vulnerable to neuropathy (nerve damage) and slow-healing wounds. This dangerous combination can lead to serious complications, including amputation.
There are several reasons to seek diabetic foot care, including:
Peripheral neuropathy causes nerve damage to the extremities, such as the hands, arms, legs, and feet. Nerve damage can interfere with your ability to experience sensations like temperature changes and pain. It may also cause tingling, numbness, weakness, or shooting pain in the feet.
Lack of blood circulation to the lower extremities is common in diabetics. Without proper circulation, wounds on your feet may not heal as quickly as they should. As a result, a seemingly innocuous cut, corn, callus, ingrown toenail, or blister can turn into a non-healing sore (ulcer). These open wounds are vulnerable to infection and tissue damage.
An ingrown toenail occurs when the edge of the nail grows into the surrounding skin. Most ingrown nails affect the big toe, but they can develop in any of your toenails.
Corns and calluses are rough patches of skin that result from frequent friction. Protecting your feet against these hardened layers of skin is essential for healthy feet.
If you have diabetes, it may be difficult to feel new cuts and sores on your feet. Without treatment, these wounds can grow and fester to the point that you may need surgery. Some wounds cause enough tissue damage that they result in amputation.
The podiatrists at Ambulatory Foot & Ankle Clinic provide individualized diabetic foot care by offering services, such as:
During a diabetic foot exam, your podiatrist assesses your feet to check for ulcers, corns and calluses, color changes, ingrown toenails, and other telltale signs of damage.
Neuropathy treatment can range from increasing your exercise levels to prescribing medication to manage your symptoms.
Diabetic shoes are flexible with wide toes and shock-absorbing soles to relieve pressure from your feet. Meanwhile, orthotics are custom-made inserts that cushion and support your feet.
Vascular testing evaluates the blood flow in your veins and arteries to determine if you’re at risk of diabetes complications.
Trimming your nails correctly, treating ingrown toenails in their early stages, and seeking care for corns and calluses can greatly improve your foot health.
Depending on the severity of your ulcer, your podiatrist may remove portions of necrotic (dead) tissue around the wound to promote healing.
To learn more about diabetic foot care, call Ambulatory Foot & Ankle Clinic or schedule an appointment online today.