Up to 70% of people with diabetes have foot nerve damage called peripheral neuropathy. As a diabetes sufferer, you’re also at risk for foot ulcers, infections, and foot amputation if you don’t stay on top of your disease. The Gelbmann Podiatry team led by David Gelbmann, DPM, and Ramsha Tanwir, DPM, offers diabetic foot care including exams, wound healing, neuropathy treatment, and diabetic limb salvage at their two offices in Chicago, Illinois. Call the Near Southside or West Town office, or schedule a consultation online today.
There are a few main ways that diabetes changes your body, and each can cause serious issues with your feet. People with diabetes have high blood glucose, which leads to the following problems.
Nerve damage, or neuropathy, can cause issues including sharp pain, burning, and tingling sensations. Serious nerve damage can eventually lead to nerve death, causing numbness. Although it might sound like a good thing to not feel pain, it can be dangerous.
When you have nerve damage in your feet, you might have cuts, punctures, burns, or other skin damage that you don't realize. Continuing to operate normally, walking, and standing on injured skin is a common cause for open wounds (foot ulcers) in diabetics today.
Poor circulation is an issue anywhere in your body, but it's particularly bad for your feet because they're so far away from your heart. Your blood keeps your tissues functional and healthy, and adequate blood supply is critical for injury recovery.
Because of poor circulation, a wound on your feet could take a long time to heal. A small laceration on your foot could expand into a stubborn open wound that won't heal. The longer that your skin's unhealed, the higher your risk of infection.
Around 15% of people with diabetes have foot ulcers today. The vast majority of diabetic limb amputations started with a foot ulcer.
At Gelbmann Podiatry, a diabetic foot care program emphasizes the following things:
Starting diabetic foot care exams while you're healthy (before you have obvious symptoms) is an excellent proactive way to protect your foot health. The Gelbmann Podiatry team recommends checkups at least once a year along with routine home monitoring.
If you develop new foot injuries, blisters, cuts, or other damage, your podiatrist can use accelerated wound healing techniques to help you recover fast.
In severe cases, you may need diabetic limb salvage, which means aggressive care to prevent amputation. The sooner, the better is the rule for seeking podiatric care when you have a new foot wound.
Your podiatrist teaches you the basics of home foot care, including self-exams, foot washing, foot moisturization, and regular toenail trimming. Close daily observation and fast response time are the keys to healthy diabetic feet.
Call Gelbmann Podiatry or schedule an appointment online today.