When you have diabetes, you have a lot to worry about. Counting carbs, taking medications, testing blood sugar, and getting exercise on top of working and caring for your family might feel like more than enough to deal with. Finding out that you could also have serious problems with your feet as a result of your diabetes could be overwhelming. However, as a podiatrist who has treated hundreds of patients with diabetes over the last 27 years, Dr. Carlson cannot stress enough how important foot care is when you have diabetes. And with his holistic approach, you get much more than foot care at our clinic.
How Diabetes Affects Foot Health
Let’s start with the basics. Why do people with diabetes have to worry about their feet? For one thing, feet are far away from the heart, so as a person with uncontrolled diabetes suffers damage to their vascular system, blood flow to the feet is impacted. With less blood flow, it is harder for the body to heal wounds on the feet. These wounds can grow and become infected. The second complication is related to the nerve damage many people with diabetes experience. When you lose sensation in your feet due to peripheral nerve damage, you will not be aware of cuts, cracks, ulcers, and infections, which can lead to gangrene and, ultimately, amputation.
What You Can Do to Prevent a Worst-Case Scenario
At Hermiston Family Foot Clinic, we believe that the key to saving your feet from the ravages of diabetes is first, controlling diabetes, and second, being proactive about your foot care. Once you begin a diabetic foot care program at our clinic, you will have our full attention on your overall health and long-term care, as well as a foot care regimen. Diabetic foot care at our clinic includes:
- Routine check-ups. Regular foot exams starting as soon as possible after a diabetes diagnosis will be important to treat cuts and sores early and to catch nerve damage and vascular disease in the early stages.
- Nutrition and exercise counseling. A part of our holistic approach to caring for patients with diabetes is to work with them to develop a diet and exercise plan that helps them control their weight and their blood sugar and allows them to remain active.
- Wound care. Once you have developed a wound, it must be managed to prevent it from getting larger and becoming infected. If your foot or ankle ulcer doesn’t respond to traditional treatment, we may use a high-tech amniotic skin graft product, such as EpiFix, to help close the wound, prevent infection, and promote healing.
- Gentle treatment of skin conditions. People with diabetes often have dry, cracked feet and develop blisters and calluses in tight footwear as their feet swell up. We offer skincare treatments that stop these common conditions from escalating into open wounds.
- Toenail management. Some people with diabetes struggle to keep their toenails trimmed and cleaned. Our team will trim toenails safely to prevent ingrown toenails, which can cause cuts and sores.
- Neuropathy care. Dr. Carlson will be able to identify the early warning signs of peripheral neuropathy during his regular exams. Numbness, tingling, lack of temperature sensitivity, unnoticed sores, and other signs can spell trouble without regular podiatric care.
- Diabetic footwear. We sell diabetic shoes and offer Medicare billing in our clinic. These shoes provide extra comfort and easy on-and-off closures, and they stretch to accommodate bandages or swollen feet.
Our goal in working with patients who have diabetes is to prevent many of the problems that can lead to horrible outcomes like gangrene and amputations. Diabetes is a lifetime disease, and we are committed to providing a lifetime of care.
Compassionate Care for Diabetic Feet
When you schedule regular diabetic foot check-ups with Dr. Carlson and his team, you can be sure that we will do all we can to help you manage your diabetes and treat foot problems as they arise. This kind of care is essential if you want to avoid potentially disastrous outcomes. To learn more about our diabetic foot care options, contact us today to schedule an appointment and get ready to live the active, healthy life you were born to live!