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Posts for category: Diabetic Foot Care

Protect your feet during cold and flu seasonCold season is upon us - the coughing, sniffling, sneeze-inducing weather that makes us want to hide beneath our duvets with a steaming bowl of soup. It can be a dangerous time for those with diabetes and you may be wondering how managing your condition figures in when you’re ill.

The first step is finding out if you are at risk.

Consistent, daily management of your diabetes is crucial. When we’re sick, our blood glucose levels fluctuate unpredictably. To manage these fluctuations, it’s recommended that you test yourself every two to four hours. This will help you prevent your blood glucose from spiking or dropping drastically.

Taking multiple medications at once isn’t ideal, but it’s important that you continue taking your diabetes medication and insulin while you are ill. When choosing a cold or flu medication, opt for sugar-free syrups and lozenges so you’re not adding extra sugar to your system.

Hydration is an important factor for all people who have diabetes. It’s even more important for those who are sick. Be sure to drink lots of water or flavoured, sugar-free beverages to replace any lost fluids.

Keeping your skin hydrated is also important, not only when you are sick, but also during the rest of the year. Have a bottle of lotion handy for any point in the day when your legs and feet become dry. Massage the lotion in, stimulating circulation. These additional moments can be imperative to the maintenance of your foot health.

Staying healthy during the winter months is important to all of us. If you have any questions about how proper diabetic healthcare affects the health of your feet, or if you are experiencing any foot discomfort, please contact our foot specialists. Brian Cragg, our Chiropodist, can assess your condition and give you the guidelines and care necessary to keep your feet healthy.

A tingling sensation may be fine when it comes to the excitement of the holidays. However, if you are experiencing tingling and numbness in your feet, these are telltale-warning signs of a serious nerve condition called peripheral neuropathy. This condition is most is often caused by the effects of diabetes. It’s important that you seek professional medical help right away.

Neuropathy is a serious medical concern and if left untreated, may result in more serious medical conditions. Loss of blood circulation, foot ulcers, and even amputation can all result if you ignore the warning signs your feet are telling you.

So let us help you! Our foot specialist, Chiropodist Brian Cragg, can evaluate your condition to determine if neuropathy is to blame for your foot discomfort. Although neuropathy can’t be cured, it can be successfully treated so that your painful symptoms no longer affect your life. Managing your blood sugar levels is also a key factor in treating peripheral neuropathy. Maintaining a healthy diet and regular exercise program can help keep your levels regulated.

Since November is Diabetes Month, take some time to become more knowledgeable on diabetes and how it can affect you and your feet! Contact our office so you can get the medical attention you need to prevent neuropathy from ruining your day!

Are you at risk for diabetic foot complications?Have you experienced frostbite or been diagnosed with diabetes? If you answered yes, then you may be at risk for a tissue damaging disease. If you have diabetes, any sensations of numbness or tingling in your feet should be of high alert. You may be aware of risks and foot conditions common with diabetes such as - neuropathy, ulcers, and poor circulation.  But remember that numbness and tingling can be warning signs that something is off. However, another serious medical concern often caused by diabetes is gangrene.  In order to protect your feet from developing gangrene, being aware of the warning signs and symptoms is crucial.

What is gangrene?

The condition occurs when living tissue begins to decay and die because of the loss of blood flow to an area where harmful bacteria have invaded from a wound or sore. Symptoms of tingling or numbness in the feet are warning signs, followed by severe pain as the tissue begins to die. Eventually, the temperature of the skin drops and the color of the tissue turns black. Although gangrene most commonly occurs in the feet of people with diabetes, frostbite and arteriosclerosis are other triggers.

Is there treatment available for those diagnosed with gangrene?

If gangrene is detected in the foot, common forms of treatment include surgery, medication and rehabilitation therapy depending on the severity of the condition.

How can gangrene be prevented?

Preventing this severe condition can be as simple of taking care of yourself, including your feet. Since diabetics have an increased risk for developing gangrene, maintaining control of blood glucose levels is critical. Avoiding environmental trauma, such as frostbite, and avoiding tobacco are the best ways to protect yourself against developing this damaging disease.

It’s best to act quickly when detecting warning signs of gangrene or other foot complications. Receiving proper treatment right away will help prevent further damage and increase your healing process. If you’ve been experiencing questionable symptoms in your feet, don’t hesitate to contact our office so we can help ensure your foot health!

Canadian Diabetes AssociationThere are over 9 million Canadians today living with diabetes, and more likely than not, the chronic disease affects you or someone you know. With more people being diagnosed each hour, knowing if you are at risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes can help preserve the future of your health.

The main warning signs and symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes include:

  • Weight gain or loss
  • Cuts and bruises that are slow to heal
  • Tingling or numbness in the hands or feet
  • Extreme fatigue

Even if you aren’t experiencing the above symptoms, if you are over the age of 40, or if a parent or sibling in your family has diabetes, it’s important to get checked and tested by your physician as these factors increase your risk for developing the disease.

Unfortunately, diabetes causes your pancreas to not produce insulin, which helps break down food into energy throughout your body. Uncontrolled blood sugar levels result from the deficiency, which can take a major toll on your feet.

People with diabetes often experience foot complications that commonly include:

  • Decreased circulation
  • Nerve damage, also known as neuropathy, where loss of feeling in the foot is experienced
  • Slow healing foot wounds that can develop into ulcers
  • Foot amputation as a possible result due to one or a combination of the above complications

How can you keep yourself protected from such problems? Although diabetes can cause serious and severe problems to your feet, the good news is that you can decrease your risk for developing these complications by managing your diabetes and blood sugar levels. Chiropodist Brian Cragg recommends incorporating these simple health tips into your life to prevent diabetic foot problems from affecting your life.

  • Take care of your feet and check them regularly for abnormal changes
  • Take your medication as prescribed
  • Maintain a healthy meal plan
  • Incorporate physical activity each day
  • Don’t smoke
  • Develop a management plan with your physician to keep your blood pressure and blood sugar levels in check

Protect your future health by being aware of your risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes! For more information, contact our office to set up an appointment with Brian.

By Brian Cragg
June 13, 2012
Category: Diabetic Foot Care
Tags: Diabetes   foot care   summer  

If you have diabetes, the warm summer months mean taking extra precaution when it comes to your feet. Although it’s important to take care of your feet each season year round, summer months can bring extra difficulties, which may include burned feet, puncture wounds, and dry or cracked heel.   Any of these foot difficulties can lead to severe diabetic foot complications.

In order to keep your feet happy and healthy this summer, Chiropodist Brian Cragg wants to provide these simple tips to incorporate into your daily routine.  They include:

  1. Never walk barefoot - especially at the pool, on the beach or even inside your house! Exposing your feet without the protection of a shoe can increase your risk for stepping on sharp objects, developing burns from walking on hot sand or pavement, and contracting a bacterial or fungal infection. Don’t put your feet at risk, so keep your feet secured in a shoe!
  2. Apply sunscreen to your feet daily. When it comes to putting on the SPF, you may not think to include your feet in the coverage. However, feet can easily burn on both tops and bottoms in the hot sun.  Make sure to apply sunscreen on all areas of your feet before you step outside.
  3. Apply moisturizing lotion daily. Warm weather can easily dry out your feet, which can lead to cracks and possible infection. Keep your feet properly moisturized by applying lotion on a daily basis. Avoid putting lotion on the areas in between your toes as the moisture can lead to a fungal infection.
  4. Summer heat can create prime conditions for your feet to swell. Elevate your feet whenever possible in order to reduce swelling, encourage blood flow circulation, and nerve function.
  5. Make sure your summer footwear is a proper fit. Wearing a proper fit shoe is critical to provide support and protection for your diabetic foot. Check each summer pair and toss out any sandals or flip-flops that are worn or don’t fit anymore.

Don’t let this summer season affect your feet! Follow these tips to ensure your summer is spent with healthy feet.  However, if you’re experiencing any diabetic foot complications, contact our office to set up an appointment with Chiropodist Cragg.