Diabetes is a lifelong chronic disease that is caused by high levels of sugar in the blood. We want our patients in New Orleans to know that it can also decrease your body's ability to fight off infections, which are especially harmful to your feet. When diabetes is not properly controlled, damage to the organs and impairment of the immune system are likely to occur.
Our specialists offer the ultimate in diabetic foot care:
- Proper fitting, customization, and dispensing of your diabetic shoes and inserts, and New Orleans Podiatry Associates carries many of your favorite brands, such as Dr. Comfort and Safe Step (Please note that diabetic patients are allowed only one pair of diabetic shoes per year through Medicare.)
- Wound care specialist for the treatment and management of diabetic ulceration
- Affordable diabetic nutrition counseling with our team nutritionist--available to all NOPA patients
- Diabetic neuropathy testing and treatment by caring, certified specialists
Our Diabetic Handbook lists many useful tips on how to keep your feet healthy.
Diabetic Complications and Your Feet
When it comes to your feet, there are several risk factors that can increase your chances of developing foot problems and diabetic infections in the legs and feet.
- Poorly fitting shoes are one of the biggest culprits of diabetic foot complications. If you have red spots, sore spots, blisters, corns, calluses, or consistent pain associated with wearing shoes, you should obtain new and properly fitted shoes immediately.
- If you have common foot abnormalities such as flat feet, bunions, or hammertoes, prescription shoes or custom-made orthotics from your podiatrist may be necessary to further protect your feet from additional damage.
- Normal nerves allow you to sense if your shoes are too tight or if your shoes are rubbing on your feet too much; however, many diabetics cannot feel or sense when shoes are ill-fitting. Our team of specialists have been fitting diabetic patients for custom-made shoes and inserts for over 26 years.
- If you have long-standing or poorly controlled diabetes, you are also at risk of having damage to the nerves in your feet, which is known as peripheral neuropathy. If you have nerve damage, you may not be able to feel your feet normally and you may be unable to sense the position of your feet and toes while walking and balancing, which can cause even more harm to your feet.
- Diabetics may not be able to properly sense minor injuries, such as cuts, scrapes, and blisters, which are all signs of abnormal wear, tear, and foot strain.
- Diabetes can impair the normal secretion and production of sweat and oil that lubricate the skin of the foot, an issue that can lead to abnormal pressure on the skin, bones, and joints of the foot during walking and other activities. Such disruption can even lead to the breakdown of the foot's skin, which often causes sores to develop.
Diabetes can be extremely dangerous to your feet, so take precautions now. If you have diabetes, it is important to prevent foot problems before they occur, recognize problems early, and seek the right treatment when a problem does happen.You can avoid serious problems such as losing a toe, foot, or leg by following proper prevention techniques offered by your podiatrist. Remember, prevention is the key to saving your feet and eliminating pain.