The Importance of Good Shoes as a Diabetic

Diabetes is one of the most commonly diagnosed medical conditions in the United States, and it is no secret that the disease can bring along a lot of risks for your feet. One thing any good podiatrist will tell you about taking care of your feet as a diabetic is that the shoes you wear are extremely important. Here is a look at why good shoes are so important if you have been diagnosed with diabetes.

Good shoes will protect your feet from corns and calluses.

Corns and calluses occur because of pressure on certain points of the feet when you walk. While this can be the body’s way of offering more support or protection for pressure points, it can cause issues if you have diabetes. These growths do not get a lot of blood flow, and they can be damaging to the underlying healthy skin. Wearing shoes that evenly distributes your body weight on your feet will lessen issues with corn and callus development.

Good shoes will prevent stress on the rest of your body.

When you have been diagnosed with diabetes, you have to take extra care of the rest of your body, including the musculoskeletal system. Wearing ill-fitting shoes that do not provide the proper level of support doesn’t just stress the feet; it can also put undue stress on ankles, knees, hips, and even your spine.

Good shoes will protect your feet from direct injury.

People with diabetes can have problems with injuries and wounds healing much slower. If the foot sustains an injury due to poor shoe choices, it can leave you at risk of developing an infection in the wound that could put your feet and the rest of your body at risk. Well-made shoes without open toes or materials that are easy to puncture will help protect your feet from direct injury.

Find Out More About Protecting Your Feet as a Diabetic in Austin, TX

Individuals who have diabetes should have their feet examined by a doctor about once a year to ensure they are not developing worrisome issues. If you are diabetic and you have never had a proper foot health evaluation, reach out to us at the podiatry office of Dr. Jeffery LaMour, DPM, PA in Austin, TX to schedule an appointment.

 

Diabetic Neuropathy Study

Dr. Jeff LaMour, DPM (512) 451-3668 is looking for people with diabetes and foot pain. We are running a clinical study on our product NoxyPure. The study evaluations and treatments will be free to those who qualify and participate. Must be a non-smoker between 20-85 years old and have diabetes with HbA1C under 11% for the last six months. Must also have pain associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy. This study does not use medication but rather a therapeutic gel with Nanobubbles of O2 and CO2. This could be revolutionary for diabetic foot pain.

Please contact Dr. Jeff LaMour, DPM (512) 451-3668 office, if you or anyone you know is interested in more information or coming into the office to see if you qualify.

How to Deal with Calluses as a Diabetic

With diabetes, you are more susceptible to problems with your feet, so taking care of them properly is an important part of your overall healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, calluses can show up on your feet as a diabetic and cause discomfort and unsightliness. Take a look at some of the tips to deal with calluses as a diabetic and do so in a safe manner.

Talk to your doctor about calluses that are causing problems.

Speaking with a podiatrist about calluses that are causing you concern should be your first plan of action if you have diabetes. Calluses on a diabetic’s foot can show up faster and grow large faster than on a healthy person’s foot. These out-of-place mounds of skin tissue can put undue pressure on other parts of your feet when you walk or stand. If you have a callus that is causing pain, has developed rapidly, or is otherwise worrisome, get advice from a professional.

Never try to cut a callus off of your foot on your own.

It is perfectly OK to use a gentle pumice stone or another tool to slough away dead or dry skin on your callus, but do not do anything too harsh to your foot. Many patients with diabetes develop unsightly calluses and try to cut them off, which is dangerous. Cutting away a callus can lead to an open wound on your foot that can be prone to infection and slow to heal. While doctors often cut layers of a callus off in a clinical setting, this treatment is done with great care and caution to avoid creating an open wound.

Use foot soaks to help loosen and soften callused skin on your feet.

There is nothing more gentle on your feet than a nice long soak in warm water. If you have calluses that are peeling and look bad, it is fine to do long foot soaks in warm water to soften them a bit before using a pumice stone to slough away the skin. Just make sure you stay away from harsh chemical foot peels and extremely hot water that can cause your feet more harm than good.

Calluses can be a normal thing, but when you have diabetes, these skin changes on your feet can be concerning. Talk to us at the office of Jeffery LaMour, DPM, PA for more information about treatments we offer to help with calluses.

The Many Effects Diabetes Could be Having on Your Feet

If you have diabetes, you do your very best to keep it under control. You monitor your blood sugar, take your medications, time your meals and balance your carbs and protein. But sometimes, no matter how vigilant you are, your diabetes can affect your body in ways you may not expect.

Effects of diabetes on your feet

The effects of diabetes on your feet may seem minor — but can turn serious very quickly. When you have diabetes, common foot problems such as blisters or calluses can become infected easily. This is partially due to the compromised ability to heal, as well as diabetic neuropathy, which can prevent you from feeling the pain that alerts you to a problem.

Because less efficient healing and decreased sensation puts your feet at risk, focusing on self-care is a must. Regular visits to our office allows Dr. LaMour to examine your feet and keep ahead of any problems that may be developing.

To help you in your preventive foot care efforts, we’ve pulled together a list of other effects diabetes could be having on your feet and toes:

Athletes foot: For those who don’t have diabetes, athletes foot can usually be resolved using over-the-counter (OTC) meds. For a person with diabetes, athlete’s foot can lead to serious complications. The redness, cracking, and itching of athlete’s foot is caused by a fungus. Should the fungus enter the bloodstream, it can wreak havoc on your body’s systems and is quite difficult to control.

Nail Fungus: People with nail fungus in general can have a difficult time treating the cause. Identified by thick, yellowish-gray, nails, which may crumble, nail fungus is typically treated with a topical or oral medication. Given the compromised healing abilities that comes with diabetes, you may have a tough time getting rid of your nail fungus. If you think you have toenail fungus, come in to see us right away.

Ingrown toenails: Pressure on the feet and toes is of particular concern for diabetics. It’s one of the primary causes of ingrown toenails. An ingrown toenail is usually a very painful condition, however, if you’ve lost feeling in your toes, you may not know you have an ingrown toenail until it becomes infected.

Corns, calluses, and bunions: These common foot problems are usually easily treated, often by using OTC methods. When a person with diabetes develops these common afflictions though, it raises the potential for infection. Don’t attempt to resolve your corns, calluses, or bunions yourself. You can develop a sore, which can easily turn into an infection, which can be a deadly condition for you.

Dry skin: When your glucose levels run low, it robs you of moisture in your skin. This results in dry skin, a common problem for people with diabetes. Be sure to keep your feet moisturized with a doctor-approved lotion for diabetics. Follow a skin care regimen and use a moisturizing soap when you bathe. If the dry skin on your feet becomes red and itchy, come in to see us.

Foot ulcers:  Pressure ulcers on your feet can be a regular occurrence for some patients with diabetes. Ill-fitting shoes, hammertoe, or distance walking and running can create the opportunity for your foot or toe to rub against your shoe and cause sores. Because of compromised nerve endings, you may not feel the developing blister, or sore, until it’s become ulcerated into a deep sore. If that happens, you need immediate medical care, so call us.

The most serious complications to your feet from diabetes

As you probably know, the most serious diabetes-related conditions impacting your feet are neuropathy and peripheral vascular disease.

Neuropathy, as discussed above, prevents you from feeling pain when you have any kind of injury to skin on your feet and toes, which can lead to serious infection. Bacteria can enter your bloodstream and cause all sorts of health complications, including sepsis, which has the potential to be life-threatening.

Peripheral vascular disease compromises blood flow (circulation) which can affect healing and limit the blood supply, resulting in gangrene. When you develop peripheral vascular disease, it puts you at serious risk of amputation due to gangrene.

If you have diabetes, contact us to schedule an appointment for a thorough assessment of your foot health. Just call one of our offices in Austin or Pflugerville or click the “request appointment” button to get started.

How Diabetes Affects Your Feet

Long-term high blood sugar can cause dangerous complications in people with diabetes, and your feet are particularly at risk. Diabetes complications, like foot ulcers, are responsible for nearly 70% of limb amputations in the United States. If you have diabetes, keeping your blood sugar within the target range your doctor sets for you plays a crucial role in avoiding foot problems. Find out how diabetes affects your feet and what you can do to protect them and live well with diabetes.

Diabetes can damage nerves

Your body relies on glucose to function properly, but damage occurs when it remains in the blood at high levels instead of being transported into the cells. Your nerves are especially vulnerable to damage caused by high blood sugar.

Diabetic neuropathy is a type of nerve damage that results from uncontrolled or poorly controlled diabetes. It most often damages nerves in your legs and feet. When you have diabetic neuropathy, your body has trouble interpreting signals sent from your nerves to your brain. You may experience numbness, tingling, or pain, and you may lose some sensation in your feet.

How nerve damage affects your feet

It’s important to work closely with a podiatrist to take special care of your feet if you have diabetic neuropathy. The nerve damage sustained with this condition can make it difficult for you to know if you get a cut or sore on your foot. Without realizing it, a small cut can become infected, and you may not feel anything to alert you to a problem. You may even develop a very serious infection that requires amputation of your toe, foot, or lower leg.

Diabetes can reduce circulation

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a condition where blood vessels become narrow, decreasing circulation to parts of the body, especially the legs and feet. PAD commonly occurs in people with Type 2 diabetes who have high cholesterol. The combination of high blood sugar and elevated cholesterol contributes to PAD development.

Some signs that you have PAD include numbness and tingling in your legs and feet, as well as pain in your calves when you’re walking or exercising that goes away when you rest. The symptoms of PAD aren’t always obvious, making it easy to miss subtle signs. Here at Family Foot & Ankle Center, Dr. LaMour often diagnoses and manages PAD in patients with diabetes.

How reduced circulation harms your feet

Not having enough blood circulating to your feet can make it hard for cuts or infections to heal. It can also make it difficult for diabetic foot ulcers to heal. Foot ulcers are a serious complication of diabetes. These open sores often occur on the ball of the foot or the bottom of the toe.

Reduced blood flowing to your feet increases the risk that a foot ulcer will become infected. If the infection doesn’t heal, it can lead to a type of tissue death called gangrene, which requires immediate care to lower the risk of amputation.

Caring for your feet

Good control of your blood sugar can prevent many diabetes complications, including those that affect your feet. In addition to controlling your blood sugar levels, taking the following steps will help keep your feet healthy:

  • Inspect them daily. Check your feet for cuts, bruises, nail problems, swelling, or any sign that something is amiss.
  • Wear the right shoes. Choose loose-fitting shoes that don’t rub against your feet.
  • Wear clean socks. Make sure your socks are dry and change them daily.
  • Avoid walking barefoot. Even at home, you should wear comfortable slippers.
  • Moisturize. Use a moisturizer to avoid dry skin that may crack.
  • Keep your feet dry. Too much moisture can encourage fungus.

Dr. LaMour is dedicated to changing lives through excellent foot care. To keep your feet healthy and avoid diabetes-related foot problems, call our office or book online today to schedule a consultation.

Diabetes and Your Feet: How to Avoid An Amputation

Having diabetes makes you more likely to develop certain physical complications. Your feet are particularly vulnerable when you have diabetes since people with the condition are at increased risk of peripheral arterial disease (PAD) and neuropathy – two conditions that cause nerve damage and circulation problems in your extremities. People with diabetes also have a higher risk of developing infections and a decreased ability to get rid of infections. The combined factors of poor circulation, loss of feeling, and a relatively high risk of infection makes diabetics more prone to frequent – and sometimes severe – foot problems. When diabetic foot problems are at their most severe, the only solution may be amputation of one or more toes, or, the entire foot.

How Diabetic Foot Problems Occur

There are a number of diabetes complications that can affect the toes and feet and eventually lead to the need for an amputation. These include:

Loss of feeling – Nerve damage from PAD causes a loss of sensation in the feet, reducing the ability to sense when the foot has been injured or irritated. Unattended foot wounds can quickly develop into a larger problem.

Poor circulation – Diabetes also damages blood vessels, decreasing the blood flow to the feet. Poor circulation from damaged blood vessels weakens bones and joints in the foot and ankle. As a result, people with diabetes are at a high risk for breaking bones in the feet.

Development of foot abnormalities – Nerve damage can also create motor problems with the foot which can warp and deform its natural shape. Conditions like Charcot foot – a severe foot deformity – contribute to the development of infection and ultimately lead to disability.

Foot injury and infections – With diabetes, the smallest foot blister, cut, or scrape can quickly turn into a severe infection that can be limb-threatening or life-threatening.

How to Prevent Amputation Due To Diabetes

Manage your health

Control the aspects of your health that can cause poor blood flow. Don’t smoke. Keep your blood pressure and cholesterol under control. And of course, be sure to monitor and control your blood sugar by following your medication plan, eating a healthy diet, and getting regular exercise.

Protect your feet from injury and infection

Wear properly fitted, comfy and protective shoes – avoid shoes that expose your feet or toes, and never walk barefoot. Wash and dry your feet thoroughly each day to keep infection-causing bacteria at bay. These tips for avoiding foot infections can also help.

Practice good foot care habits

Inspect your feet closely each day, keeping an eye out for red pressure spots, cracks in the skin, and early corns, calluses, or blisters. Have professional pedicures by a specialist in diabetic foot care, and follow our tips for a safe pedicure. Have your podiatrist show you how to safely groom your feet at home. Be sure you see your podiatrist regularly, especially if you have any existing foot problems or deformities.

Dr. Lamour and his staff have been providing diabetic foot care to Austin-area patients since 1997. Schedule your next foot checkup today to stay on track with your diabetic foot care routine.