Preventing Diabetic Foot Complications: The Role of Podiatry Visits

Health Articles

Aug 14, 2023

For individuals living with diabetes, managing their health goes beyond monitoring blood sugar levels. One crucial aspect that often requires special attention is foot health. Diabetes can lead to nerve damage and reduced blood flow to the feet, making them vulnerable to injuries and infections. At Tidewater Orthopaedics, we understand the significance of preventing complications related to diabetic foot conditions. It's one of the reasons we've added podiatry to our practice in the last year. We want our diabetic patients to get proactive foot care and lead healthier and more active lives. Here are a few reasons to visit a podiatrist for diabetic foot care. 

Diabetics Need to Have Proactive Foot Care: Diabetes can affect the nerves and blood vessels in the feet, resulting in a condition known as diabetic neuropathy. Neuropathy can reduce sensation in the feet, making it challenging to detect injuries or wounds. Also, poor blood circulation can slow the healing process, increasing the risk of infections. Left untreated, these seemingly minor issues can escalate into severe complications, including foot ulcers, gangrene, and even the possibility of amputation. 

1. Early Detection of Issues: Regular visits to a podiatrist are essential for the early detection of foot problems. Podiatrists are trained to recognize the signs of diabetic foot complications, such as skin changes, calluses, ulcers, or deformities. By identifying these issues early, appropriate treatment and intervention can be provided promptly, reducing the risk of more severe consequences. 

2. Professional Foot Care: Podiatrists can offer specialized foot care for diabetic patients, addressing concerns such as nail trimming, callus removal, and wound care. Proper foot care can prevent small problems from becoming major complications and help maintain foot health. 

3. Individualized Footwear Recommendations: Diabetic patients often need footwear with extra support and cushioning to protect their feet. Podiatrists can provide personalized recommendations for appropriate shoes or orthotic inserts that reduce pressure on sensitive areas and promote proper foot alignment. 

4. Foot Education and Self-Care Tips: Regular podiatry visits allow diabetic patients to receive vital foot health education and self-care tips. Patients can learn how to inspect their feet properly, recognize signs of trouble, and practice preventive measures, such as moisturizing feet and avoiding extreme temperatures. [put link to our foot beach safety blog from earlier in the month] 

5. Blood Flow and Nerve Function Assessment: Podiatrists can assess blood flow to the feet and test nerve sensitivity to identify circulation or neuropathy issues. Monitoring these factors helps to catch potential problems early on and implement suitable interventions. 

6. Preventing Infections and Ulcers: By taking a proactive approach to foot care, diabetic patients can significantly reduce the risk of infections and foot ulcers. Prompt treatment of wounds and infections can prevent complications from spreading and protect overall health. 

7. Maintaining an Active Lifestyle: Regular podiatry visits help diabetic patients maintain their foot health, essential for staying active and independent. Healthy feet enable individuals to engage in physical activity, leading to better diabetes management and improved overall well-being. 

For individuals living with diabetes, maintaining foot health is of utmost importance. Regular visits to a podiatrist play a critical role in preventing and managing foot complications associated with diabetes. At Tidewater Orthopaedics, our experienced podiatrist, Dr. Scott Glassburn, is dedicated to providing specialized care for diabetic patients, helping them lead healthier and more fulfilling lives. If you have diabetes or know someone who does, don't underestimate the significance of regular podiatry visits. Prioritizing foot health can make a substantial difference in preventing serious complications and enjoying an active and thriving lifestyle. Take the first step towards optimal foot health by scheduling a podiatry appointment today. Your feet will thank you for it! 

If you're experiencing pain or discomfort or are worried about foot and ankle conditions, make an appointment with one of our experienced providers, like Dr. Scott Glassburn, a Podiatrist working out of Tidewater Orthopaedics' Hampton and Williamsburg offices. Click here to make your appointment, or call our office at (757) 827-2480. 

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