A Step Ahead - Sole Foot and Ankle Specialists Blog

Posts for tag: Diabetes and Foot Issues

Every November the health care community at large educates the public on diabetes.  In the United States the month of November is Diabetes Awareness month.   According to the 2017 report from the CDC – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – there are 30.3 million Americans – 9.4 percent of the U.S. population - have diabetes.  Another 84.1 million Americans have prediabetes a condition that if not treated often leads to type 2 diabetes within five years.

Diabetes can be accompanied by a handful of secondary complications that can range from mild to severe.  The most common areas that can be affected by diabetes are the feet, the eyes, kidneys and skin.  Diabetic patients can experience decreased sensation – neuropathy – in their feet.  This can lead to a decrease in the ability to recognize injury and can lead to infections, ulcers and possibly amputation.  Each year over half of all amputations in the United States, most of which involve the lower extremity, are caused by complications due to diabetes.  Thankfully, diabetes linked amputations have been on the decline. 

If you have a family history of diabetes or any of the following risk factors, take the opportunity this month to be tested.  Diabetes is diagnosed by a fasting blood glucose level.  The test is simple and pain-free.  Risk factors for diabetes include the following:  family history of diabetes, obesity, inactivity, increased age, history of gestational diabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome, high blood pressure, and abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

While we focus on those who currently suffer from this disease, there is good news for the 84.1 million who are prediabetic.  There are ways to prevent diabetes that include healthy lifestyle modifications.  Proper diet, exercise and weight loss can bring a person on the verge of a diabetes diagnosis back to a good bill of health. 

The best outcome for handing diabetes is working as a team with your providers.  Diabetic patients are encouraged to visit a podiatrist once a year for an annual foot examination.  If any other secondary complications develop such and peripheral neuropathy or peripheral vascular disease, the visits will be more frequent.

To learn more about diabetes or find free screenings in your area go to www.diabetes.org.

If your doctor has diagnosed you having diabetes and need a podiatrist to be on your team, please call our office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jay C. Larson at Sole Foot and Ankle Specialists in Glendale Arizona.

November was Diabetes Awareness Month. Awareness of this disease is key to prevent long-term catastrophic complications that may result in ulcers, infections, amputations and even death. There are many complications that are associated with the disease; however, with the appropriate awareness and prompt treatment, many of these devastating complications can be avoided. One complication is peripheral arterial disease, otherwise known as PAD. PAD is when the blood vessels in the feet and legs become narrowed due to a fatty build up. This then causes a decreased blood flow to your lower extremity. When tissue does not receive adequate blood flow it dies and becomes nonviable. It is important to make sure your lower extremity is receiving adequate blood flow.

Symptoms of PAD may include:

  • Leg pain that while walking or resting

  • Numbness or weakness

  • Cold legs and/or feet

  • Loss of hair on the legs and feet

  • Toenail color changes

Although diabetes mellitus is a major contributing factor to developing PAD, there are many other risk factors that will further increase your risk for developing the disease. Some of these risk factors include smoking, hypertension, family history, obesity, high cholesterol, history of heart disease, and being over the age of 50.

PAD can cause serious lower extremity issues and either hinder healing or cause of current foot problems. Due to decreased blood flow it is difficult for ulcers, blisters, and cuts to heal. Not to mention that previously healthy toes may be come dead or necrotic without an open wound solely based on poor blood supply. This condition is called gangrene and starts on the tips of the toes will extend towards the body. 

Ways to improve symptoms of PAD include smoking cessation, good glycemic control, and controlling your blood pressure and cholesterol.  A referral to a vascular surgeon may be appropriate depending on the extent of the disease and a recommendation by your doctor.

Awareness of diabetes and all of the different complications is key to prevention. For more information on diabetes please visit Sole Foot and Ankle - November Blogs. If you notice any changes in your foot health please consider making an appointment with Dr. Jay C. Larson at Sole Foot and Ankle Specialists in Glendale, Arizona. 

November is American Diabetes Month. Diabetes mellitus affects approximately 30 million people in the United States. Of those 30 million people, 60-70% will be affected with some sort of nerve damage, such as neuropathy. Fifteen percent of people diagnosed with diabetes mellitus will develop a foot ulcer. Unfortunately, 24% of those who develop an ulcer will require amputation of the affected leg. The complications of this disease may seem insignificant when diagnosed but can progress to affect nearly every part of your body over time.

Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disease that causes irregular and elevated blood sugar. This occurs due to the body’s inability to produce any or enough insulin. This insulin hormone helps the body manage blood sugar levels. Chronically elevated blood sugar causes damage to blood vessels, nerves, skin, and many other organ systems in the body. Your legs and feet are a common starting point for diabetes mellitus to begin showing complications of the disease.  

Here are some helpful tips to keep your feet happy and healthy at home if you are diagnosed with diabetes mellitus.

  1. Inspect your feet daily – Look for color and temperature changes, swelling, or sensational changes. It is important to note hot spots due to friction or any cracks, sores, blisters or ulcers. If a sore or ulcer is present document any changes in size, drainage and odor. If you notice any of these changes, inform your podiatrist.

  1. Avoid barefoot walking – It is important to protect your feet when outdoors and even indoors. Always wear shoes with socks, make sure shoes fit properly, and inspect shoes for foreign objects.

  1. Use lotions or creams – If feet are dry, adding lotions or creams can prevent fissuring or cracking. Do not apply lotion between toes to prevent an environment that harbors infection.

  1. Don’t treat wounds, corns, or calluses yourself unless directed by your podiatrist. Since diabetes compromises wound healing and increases the risk of infection, it is vital for your podiatrist to treat any wounds, corns, or calluses on your feet.

Diabetes Mellitus, though appearing subtle, can have a significant toll on one’s health. Through proper management and good blood sugar control, complications can be minimized. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes mellitus or experience any changes in your foot health, please consider making an appointment with Dr. Jay C. Larson at Sole Foot and Ankle Specialists in Glendale, Arizona.

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month and an estimated 29.1 million people have diabetes in the United States.  That’s 9.3% of our population, and this number has been steadily on the rise.  The focus of Diabetes Awareness Month is to shed a spotlight on diabetes and educate the public about the risk factors, complications and management of diabetes mellitus.   During the month of November many healthcare clinics offer free diabetic checks, including blood glucose tests, foot screenings and eye exams. 

Diabetes can be accompanied by a handful of secondary complications that can range from mild to severe.  The most common areas of the body to be secondarily affected by diabetes are the eyes, feet and skin.  Diabetics commonly experience decreased sensation (neuropathy) in their feet.  This can lead to a decrease in the ability to recognize injury and can ultimately lead to infections, ulcers, and possibly amputation.  Each year over half of all amputations in the United States, most of which involve the lower extremity, are caused by complications due to diabetes.  Thankfully, diabetes linked amputations have been declining.  This is believed to be linked to improved diabetes management and better patient education. 

If you have a family history of diabetes or have any of the following risk factors, take the opportunity this month to be tested.  Diabetes is diagnosed via a fasting blood glucose level.  This test is simple and pain-free.  Taking precautionary measures now may save you from a lifetime of devastating consequences. 

Risk factors for diabetes include: family history of diabetes, obesity, inactivity, increased age, history of gestational diabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome, high blood pressure, and abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels. 

Being diagnosed with diabetes can be difficult and often requires a significant lifestyle adjustment.  However, on the bright side, it is a manageable disease.  The most important thing a diabetic can do is stay on top of their blood sugar levels.  If you have already been diagnosed with diabetes, self-monitor your glucose levels frequently.  Good glycemic control decreases your risk for serious, long-term consequences including blindness, amputation and heart attack. 

The best outcome is achieved when patients and providers work together as a team.  Diabetics are encouraged to see a podiatrist at least once a year for an annual foot examination.  If any secondary complications arise, such as peripheral neuropathy or peripheral vascular disease, the visits will need to be more frequent.  If you or someone you know has foot issues related to diabetes, consider making an appointment with Dr. Jay C. Larson at Sole Foot and Ankle Specialists in Glendale, Arizona.  Both doctors are highly skilled in the management of diabetic foot complications.  

To learn more about diabetes or find free screenings in your area, visit the American Diabetes Association website at www.diabetes.org



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