By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
April 20, 2017
Category: Diabetic Foot Care
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At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care we know that for our patients that have diabetes one of the most important goals of foot health care is avoiding ulcers and wounds. Fortunately there are a number of actions you can take that will make you significantly less prone to developing an ulcer which can be slow to heal and lead to serious health consequences:

  • Improve your circulation. Good circulation helps healing of minor injuries. Don’t sit for long periods with your legs crossed. Be sure to get up and stretch at regular intervals if you are doing something that requires you to be seated for long stretches. Also, don’t smoke. Smoking is damaging to your circulation.
  • Stay vigilant. Check your feet daily for changes. If you notice any difference in temperature, skin color, size/shape of the foot or if you see bruising, bumps, or swelling be sure to notify your podiatrist.
  • Partner with your doctors. Our foot and ankle surgeons, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah will help you develop a care regimen for the health of your feet. Regular appointments will allow for careful monitoring of foot conditions and potential issues that could result in foot ulcers. Following your physician’s treatment plan for keeping your sugar under control and managing all aspects of diabetes is one of the most important steps diabetic patients can take.
  • Choose shoes wisely. Shoes that are too tight or high heels that force toes to be squeezed together and pushed into the front of the shoe can create pressure points on the foot. The areas receiving excessive pressure may start to form a callus or corn. Feel around the inside of your shoes before putting them on. Loose stitching or rough patches of fabric can cause friction rubbing against the skin on your foot and create a blister.
  • Don’t walk around barefoot. Athlete’s foot and other fungal infections are transmitted by direct contact. You will also be protecting your foot from stepping on sharp objects that can cut or puncture skin.

You can take control of your foot health if you have diabetes. To learn more, make an appointment at our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office at your earliest convenience by calling: 732-662-3050.

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
April 13, 2017
Category: Proper Foot Care
Tags: Untagged

Most of the time, patients come to Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care to find out what foot problem is plaguing them but sometimes what they learn instead is that they have a systemic disease that affects their entire body. Symptoms that are affecting your feet can be a tip off to a bigger medical problem. Here are some illnesses that reveal themselves in your feet:

  1. Thyroid Disorder—if this gland is overactive (hyperthyroidism) it can cause muscle weakness, nervousness and problems with skin and hair. An underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) can result in fatigue, depression and feeling cold. In either case, signs of thyroid disorders can be found in nail and skin changes. Feet that are excessively sweaty or so dry that they become cracked can point to a problem with the thyroid.
  2. Diabetes—one of the side effects of diabetes is neuropathy or nerve damage. Nerve damage in the feet can be experienced as burning, tingling, numbness or a “pins and needles” type of discomfort. Swelling can also be a sign of a circulation issue, another problem typically associated with diabetes.
  3. Cardiovascular Disease—indications of circulatory problems such as swelling of ankles and feet can also be an indicator of high blood pressure or other cardiovascular disorders.
  4. Osteoporosis and calcium deficiencies—with nearly a quarter of the bones in your body found in your feet it’s not surprising that issues such as osteoporosis or a calcium deficiency would be apparent there. Stress fractures and regular fractures can be signs of these disorders.

If you notice unusual changes in your feet or ankles—including changes in your toenails, skin color, swelling, bruising or shape changes—contact our Edison, Monmouth Junction or Monroe office by calling 732-662-3050 and let our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah perform a complete examination. What your foot doctor finds may significantly impact your health. 

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
April 05, 2017
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Fungal toenails are a condition that we see quite frequently at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care but one that patients may have for a long time before seeking treatment. Part of the reason for this is a misconception that fungal nails are just a cosmetic problem. It’s true that a patient can have a fungal toenail for years and not experience any pain but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a threat. Typically, when the fungi group known as dermophytes attacks the nail, they consume keratin, the protein substance found in the nail. This leads to changes in color and thickness of the nail. Debris may collect under the nail plate and a foul smell may accompany these changes. Sometimes fungal toenails open the door to a secondary bacterial infection which can cause crumbling or loosening of the nail. Both fungal and bacterial infections can spread to other nails and the skin.

Common Causes

Ultimately a fungal nail infection is spread by direct contact but there are several scenarios that make a patient more prone to becoming infected including:

  • Injury to the nail bed
  • History of chronic athlete’s foot
  • A tendency to perspire excessively
  • Certain diseases: diabetes, circulatory problems, immune-deficiency

Treatment and Prevention

If you notice symptoms of a fungal toenail (even if you are not experiencing pain) let one of our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah evaluate it. In most cases, a topical and/or oral medication will help get rid of the infection and the foot doctor will clean out the infected area. In particularly resistant cases, a portion of the nail may need to be removed.

Of course, the best solution is prevention. Protect your nails by not going barefoot in public places, practicing good daily hygiene and keeping feet dry by wearing socks that are made of moisture wicking material that are not tight-fitting and using a talcum powder on your feet.

If you have additional concerns or questions about foot or nail infections, contact our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office by calling: 732-662-3050.

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
March 30, 2017
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care we know that the health of your feet is dependent on the health of the rest of your body. In honor of National Nutrition Month, we want our patients to be aware of how your diet can impact your podiatric health.

  1. Your weight is largely controlled by your diet. This is the most obvious reason to pay attention to what you eat but it’s also one of the most important. Being overweight increases the risk and severity of a number of foot problems, including plantar fasciitis, arthritis, and metatarsalgia, as well as non-specific foot pain. Carrying excess weight can also make you less active which in turn can have a negative impact on your circulation. It’s important to not only eat nutrient dense foods—vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins—but also to watch portion size.
  2. Inflammation can be affected by what you eat. Sugary foods and fried foods are known to trigger an inflammatory response, while strawberries, cherries, olive oil, salmon, bok choy, turmeric and almonds can decrease inflammation. Why does that matter to your feet? The pain caused by many foot conditions like Achilles tendonitis, capsulitis and plantar fasciitis is due to inflammation.
  3. You can increase the strength of your bones. The 26 bones in each of your feet do a tremendous amount of work every day. Keeping them strong is an important part of maintaining an active lifestyle. Including lots of dark green leafy vegetables, white beans, fish and low fat dairy products, as well as fortified cereals and juices in your daily food plan will protect bone health.

To learn more about how your diet may be affecting your foot health, contact our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office and make an appointment with our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah by calling: 732-662-3050.

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
March 23, 2017
Category: Sports Injuries
Tags: Untagged

Although most of us are aware of the benefits of stretching before exercise—warms up your muscles, reduces the chance of injury, etc.—we are often tempted to skip this part of our sport or fitness activity. Well, here at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care we’d like to give you one more good reason to stretch before your workout: stretching can help protect your feet and ankles from injuries and inflammation problems.

What many patients don’t realize is that stretches for your back, knees and calves also benefit your feet. When these other parts of the body are tight, the feet and ankles often suffer as the body tries to compensate for muscle stiffness or pain in other areas. Tight calf muscles, for example, can cause strain on your ankles and be a factor in tendonitis and arch problems. Our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah have experience working with athletes and can make recommendations about your feet and your fitness routine. If you have questions, contact our Monmouth Junction, Edison or Monroe office for an appointment.

Below are some good stretches to try before your next work out to help protect your feet and ankles. Remember to follow the stretch, hold, release pattern—no bouncing!

Wall Push Up – Stand facing a wall, about three feet away from it. Keep your feet flat on the floor and your knees locked. Place your hands in front of you and lean into the wall. Hold for 10 seconds and relax. Repeat 5 times.

Hamstring Stretch – Place your foot on a chair or table that allows you to keep it relatively straight. Keep your balance on your other leg with knee locked. Slowly lower your head over the elevated knee. Stop when you feel your muscles getting tight and hold for a count of 10. Repeat 5 times and then do with the other leg.

Lower Back Stretch – Stand with your legs straight and your feet slightly spread apart. Bending at the waist, attempt to touch the palms of your hands to the floor—only go down until you feel a stretch but not pain! Hold for 10 seconds then release. Repeat 10 times.

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