Philadelphia Tri-state Area Podiatrists Answer Foot Health Questions
We believe that every question deserves a good answer. Healthmark Foot and Ankle provides you the best up-to date information for your concerns.
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Does painful diabetic neuropathy increase my risk of other serious foot injuries?
Not on its own. Most people experience diabetic neuropathy foot problems when they have sudden fluctuations in their blood glucose levels. This can happen during periods when patients are letting their sugar levels go unchecked, but also when they are attempting—and even succeeding—to get them under control.
It is important to remember that any diabetic foot pain is not necessarily neuropathy. If you are experiencing a tingling or burning in your feet, you may have an ulcer, infection, or circulation problems—all of which can increase the chances of foot amputation. A Media podiatrist can help you understand what is causing your distress in order to treat it effectively.
Common symptoms that occur with painful neuropathy include:
- Pain responses to non-painful activities, such as wearing shoes, walking, or having blankets touching the patient’s feet at night
- Increased pain responses to a stimulus that normally causes minor pain, such as heat, impact, or freezing
- Squeezing or tightening sensations that feel like the feet are continuously under pressure
- Vibrations or tingling under the skin of the feet and hands, as if something is crawling underneath the surface
The biggest factor in whether you will experience trouble with your feet in the future is whether you take proper care of your feet. If you have normal sensation and good circulation, painful neuropathy may pass without increasing your risk of foot injury or amputation.
To find out more about how diabetes affects your foot health, contact our experienced podiatrists at HealthMark Foot & Ankle Associates today at 610-565-3668 in Media or 610-933-8644 in Phoenixville.
How should I treat a diabetic foot ulcer?
Foot ulcers are open sores on the ball of the foot or on the bottom of the big toe. Although a sore on your foot may not seem like a major issue, it is one of the more serious diabetes foot problems.
Many people ignore these sores because they don’t hurt. However, if the person has diabetic nerve damage, the lack of painful sensation doesn’t mean that the ulcer is not serious; it means the person is in pain, but he or she cannot feel it. Some people may have suffered enough nerve damage that they do not notice the ulcer until it has grown quite large or has become infected, which can lead to gangrene or even the loss of a limb.
You can help foot ulcers heal more quickly by:
- Staying off the affected foot. Standing or walking on an ulcer can cause it to open further, spreading any infection deeper into your foot.
- Control your diet. High blood glucose levels make it harder for wounds to heal and hinder your body’s natural ability to fight infection.
- Treat your foot carefully. Once your foot heals, the scar tissue over the wound may be weak and brittle. Moisturize your feet daily and consult your podiatrist as to which shoes are best to prevent ulcers from returning.
If your ulcer is not healing, you should consult your doctor to find out if nerve damage or poor circulation is causing a problem. If you have developed a severe infection, you may need surgery to remove any dead or festering tissue, and you will likely need antibiotics as you recover.
To get your personalized diabetic foot diagnosis, contact our experienced podiatrists at Healthmark Foot and Ankle Associates today at 610-565-3668 in Media or 610-933-8644 in Phoenixville.
I have diabetes. Are there any special socks or shoes I should get to protect my feet?
You are right to be concerned about diabetes-related foot problems. Many people with diabetes do not realize that they are at increased risk for infection, nerve damage, or even amputation if their disease affects blood flow to their feet and toes.
As Media foot specialists, we can offer some footwear recommendations for diabetics. There are no specific brands of shoes or socks that can guarantee the safety of your feet, of course, but you can give your feet extra protection by taking the following steps:
- Always wear well-fitting slippers around the house. Slippers with rubber or leather soles prevent slipping and protect your feet from cuts and stubbed toes.
- Wear socks with your shoes. Socks will help you avoid blisters and thereby decrease your risk for infection.
- Wear comfortable shoes. Buy only shoes that have a low heel and are not too tight, and wear them around the house for an hour or so at a time when you first get them.
- Inspect your footwear. Before you put on new shoes or socks, feel along the inside of the toe area and inside seams to make sure there are no rough edges or sharp objects that could cut or irritate your foot.
At Healthmark Foot & Ankle Associates, our Phoenixville foot care professionals treat more than just your feet. We examine your overall health, including your diet, your lifestyle and what you’re doing to prevent injuries. That way, we can develop a course of treatment that works best for you.
Our Philadelphia podiatrists would be happy to set up a consultation for you at either of our convenient locations. Call our Media office at 610-565-3668 or our Phoenixville office at 610-933-8644 to get started.
You can also click on the View Details button at the top of this page to order a FREE copy of our book, The Foot Is Not an Island: Recognizing Vitamin D Deficiency & How to Correct It.
What is Metabolic Syndrome and how can a Phoenixville podiatrist help?
Metabolic syndrome is a combination of serious conditions, all of which may impair a patient at the same time, often creating higher health risks. It may be surprising, but your Phoenixville podiatrist may be the first physician to identify the signs of metabolic syndrome
The health conditions commonly associated with metabolic syndrome include:
- high blood sugar levels;
- excess body fat in the waist or abdomen;
- high blood pressure; and
- high cholesterol.
Metabolic syndrome can result in an increased risk of serious health conditions such as stroke, heart attack, and diabetes. When at least one of these conditions is present you should consult with a doctor about your risk factors.
Patients who experience unusual tingling, pain, and numbness in their feet are often suffering from metabolic syndrome. This is due to poor circulation which is one of the side effects of some metabolic syndrome conditions.
Diabetes is often the first condition diagnosed with metabolic syndrome. Elevated blood sugar levels and obesity can decrease the body’s ability to process glucose and regulate insulin, which can result in type 2 diabetes. Metabolic syndrome patients are also at higher risk for cardiovascular diseases due to the high cholesterol and blood pressure.
The good news is that your podiatrist can recommend lifestyle changes and exercise programs to help improve your foot health and reduce the impact of metabolic syndrome. Special footwear, healthy exercises, and increased physical activities may help patients lose weight, promote foot health, and decrease the negative impact metabolic syndrome can have on their overall health.
Metabolic Syndrome Care from a Phoenixville Podiatrist
The team at HealthMark Foot & Ankle Associates is dedicated to caring for more than just your feet – we take time to provide comprehensive care for your entire lifestyle. The health of your feet can impact the rest of your body in many ways; that’s why we focus on both immediate and preventative care for our patients.
With 2 convenient locations in Philadelphia– Media and Phoenixville – our 3-doctor team can give you the personal attention and specialized care you need to get back on your feet and enjoy life again. From sports injuries to diabetic foot care, we are here to help! Contact us at 610-565-3668 for a consultation at our Media office or 610-933-8644 for our Phoenixville office.