Diabetes can cause poor blood circulation and various foot problems, including foot ulcers. Poor circulation slows the healing process. When wounds take longer to heal, there can be an increased risk of infection. If you have diabetic foot conditions, speak to a podiatrist to help you manage the symptoms and prevent further damage. From information about foot pain treatment to ordering custom safety shoes, here are five diabetic foot questions to ask your podiatrist:
1. How Can I Prevent Foot Complications?
Diabetes increases the risk of foot conditions because it affects the blood supply to the extremities. If you have diabetes, you need a plan to help you prevent foot complications. One of the first questions to ask your podiatrist is about preventative measures. Your podiatrist can provide tips to help you prevent foot complications such as bunions, wounds, and ulcers.
Some popular recommendations include daily foot exams, wearing comfortable shoes, and managing blood sugar levels. Podiatrists also recommend wearing socks at all times and monitoring temperature. You don’t have to wait until you have a foot condition to get help. Preventative measures can protect you from foot complications that can lead to more serious issues.
2. What Symptoms Should I Watch Out For?
Diabetes can result in many foot problems, but foot ulcers can be one of the most dangerous. If you’re diagnosed with diabetes, you need to start paying more attention to your feet and fingers. Ask your podiatrist about the symptoms to watch out for. Learning about the different foot conditions and their symptoms can help you find help early.
The goal is to prevent further damage and complications. Your podiatrist can list all symptoms you need to watch out for. Popular symptoms include redness, foul odor, swelling, drainage, blood in your socks, and pain. If you have these symptoms, seek prompt help. The podiatrist can recommend foot pain treatment and other remedies for your symptoms.
3. Am I at Risk of Diabetic Foot Ulcers?
Diabetic foot ulcers are one of the top concerns for patients and podiatrists. People with diabetes can experience numbness, tingling, and loss of sensation in their feet. This condition is known as neuropathy and can make it difficult to notice cuts, scrapes, burns, and injuries. Open, untreated wounds in the feet can become infected and increase the risk of foot ulcers.
Untreated ulcers can cause the foot tissue to become necrotic and rot or fester, leading to amputation. You can ask your podiatrist whether you’re at risk of foot ulcers. Anyone with diabetes can develop wounds, which are the primary cause of ulcers. Poor circulation, diabetic neuropathy, foot deformity, and wearing the wrong shoes are also contributing factors. Other risk factors include high blood sugar levels, smoking, alcohol, and obesity.
4. What Foot Conditions Can I Develop?
Diabetes impacts blood circulation, which reduces oxygen supply and slows down wound healing. You may also develop neuropathy, so you won’t even know if you’re hurt in the feet. Popular foot conditions that can develop from diabetes include injuries and wounds that take forever to heal. This is heightened by numbness and lost sensation and can lead to ulcers.
Other foot conditions include calluses, corns, and skin changes. Corns and calluses can be difficult to treat if you have diabetes and are best left to experienced podiatrists. Your skin can also become dry, cracked, and peeling, causing open sores that don’t heal easily. Ask your podiatrist about all possible conditions and what you can do to prevent, manage or treat them.
5. How Do I Treat Diabetic Foot Conditions?
The diabetic foot condition you develop will determine the treatment your podiatrist recommends. Your podiatrist will assess the condition, severity, wound location, and your unique needs. Popular treatment options include taking pressure off the area of the wound. The podiatrist can recommend antibiotics to treat infections. Regular cleaning is also a must.
Other treatments include debriding, which removes dead skin, puss, and tissues to promote healing. Massage therapy can also promote blood circulation to the feet and extremities. If conservative treatments don’t work, the podiatrist may recommend surgery. You can ask the podiatrist about the best treatment options and alternative remedies based on your specific situation.
Diabetic Foot Pain Treatment
If you have diabetes, you need a plan to prevent foot conditions. Speaking to a podiatrist can help you identify how to prevent complications. Podiatrists can also help you identify symptoms and treat foot conditions before they worsen. Seek foot pain treatment early and never miss an examination. Regular checks and proper hygiene can help address many issues and prevent ulcers and other complications.