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Posts for: February, 2018

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
February 27, 2018
Category: Heart Health
Tags: Plantar Fasciitis  

February is American Heart Health Month. At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care we believe in a total body approach to podiatric health. Taking care of your heart benefits your feet and vice versa. That’s why we want to focus on an issue today that can greatly impact your health—avoiding an excessive amount of added sugar in your diet.

In a startling study published in the Journal of American Medical Association Internal Medicine, it showed that the chances of dying from heart disease rose in tandem with the percentage of sugar in a person’s diet—regardless of age, sex, body-mass index or physical activity level. The study also showed that the average American adult consumes 22 teaspoons of sugar a day—more than 3 times the recommended amount! In addition to raising your risk for heart disease, sugar plays a large role in weight control. Our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah can tell you that being overweight or obese can put excessive strain on your feet and ankles and can cause or worsen many foot conditions such as chronic ankle pain and plantar fasciitis.

It’s clear that cutting down on added sugar is a good idea. Below are some tips on how to do it:

Learn the Lingo—when you check the nutrition label on foods the line for sugars contains both natural sugars (those that occur naturally in foods like dairy products and fruits) and those that are added, so that number doesn’t tell the whole story. Read the ingredients and look for any types of sugar (brown, malt, raw, invert), sweeteners, syrups (including corn and high-fructose corn) and any words that end in “ose.” Dextrose, glucose, lactose, maltose, and sucrose, for example, are all types of added sugar. The further near the top of the list they are, the greater the amount contained in the food.

Cut it In Half—whatever sugar you put in your coffee or tea, sprinkle on your cereal or use in recipes, try to use half the amount you currently do. Chances are you won’t notice the difference.

Find Sweet Substitutes—put fresh or dried fruits in your oatmeal, add flavorful extracts (lemon, almond, orange) or spices such as ginger, cinnamon or allspice to recipes in place of sugar. Switch from sodas (one of the worst added-sugar offenders!) to flavored seltzers and other low or no sugar drinks. Choose zero-sugar yogurt over ice cream and pudding.

To learn more ways to improve your heart and foot health, contact our Monroe, Edison or Monmouth Junction office in New Jersey by calling: 732-662-3050.


By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
February 21, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Diabetes   swelling   toenails   ulcer  

At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care, we know patients don’t exactly look forward to coming into the Monroe, Edison or Monmouth Junction office for evaluation. Sometimes patients are unsure if a symptom really requires the doctor’s attention. However, we would prefer you err on the side of caution and contact us rather than wait until minor symptoms develop into serious medical conditions. To help you decide if you should make the call, ask yourself the following questions:

How’s the pain? No foot pain is normal, but we get it if you went on a strenuous hike or spent all day shopping and now your feet are a little sore and you think they just need a good night’s rest. Here are some signs the pain needs the attention of our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah:

  • Pain came on suddenly and for no reason or after a recent injury or fall
  • Pain is intermittent but has been coming and going for a while
  • Pain that is increasing in intensity or duration

Do your feet look different? Have you noticed any swelling, bruises, lumps or toes that appear to have moved out of place? What about your skin—red or discolored, flaky, any signs of rashes, cracks or blisters? Do any toenails appear to be thickened, crumbly or yellow/ another abnormal color?

Do you notice any change in sensation? Do you feel any burning or tingling anywhere on your toes or feet? Is there any numbness or lack of feeling in your feet?

Are there any signs of infection? Redness or red streaks and warmth in a localized area of your foot can signal an infection. If you see these symptoms and you have a fever you should contact the doctor right away.

One other important note: if you have diabetes you should definitely get in touch with the foot doctor immediately if you notice any of the above symptoms. For diabetic patients, foot irritation can quickly develop into a dangerous wound or ulcer and possibly serious infection that will have devastating consequences.

In the end, we’d rather be able to say: “It’s nothing to be concerned about,” instead of “you should have come in sooner.” Contact us at our New Jersey offices at 732-662-3050 if you have any questions or concerns about your feet.


By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
February 14, 2018
Category: Fungal infections

At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care, we find that patients are not as vigilant about athlete’s foot and other bacterial and viral infections as they are in the summer. Remember that infections thrive in warm, moist places and that they are spread by direct contact. There are several factors, however, that make these infections equally as likely to occur in the winter:

  • Superheated cars, offices, stores, and homes to ward off the cold can result in sweaty feet.
  • Snow and slush can penetrate shoes and boots when walking outside leaving feet wet for a different reason.
  • Many people move their workouts inside during the colder months, exposing them to risks in gyms, exercise studios, and indoor pools.

Points for Prevention

Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to protect your feet from infection. These include:

  • Avoid going barefoot in public areas. Always wear shower shoes or flip-flops in places like locker rooms, gym showers, and the pool deck.
  • Cover any cuts or scrapes on your feet or ingrown toenails with a band-aid. Even tiny tears in the skin can allow bacteria to enter and cause an infection.
  • Change your socks as soon as you perceive that your feet are damp.
  • Use foot powder before putting socks on in the morning if your feet sweat excessively.
  • Don’t share towels, socks, emery boards, soap or any other items that touch someone else’s feet.
  • If you like to treat yourself to professional pedicures, be sure that the salon you choose is licensed and follows proper sanitizing procedures.
  • Wash feet daily with soap and water.

Seek Treatment Promptly

Be aware of the signs of a skin or nail infection. Athlete’s foot may first show up between the toes and be extremely itchy. As the infection progresses, the skin will become dry and flaky and may even begin to bleed or form blisters. Fungal nails may not cause any discomfort but will change color, and become thick and crumbly on the edges.

If you notice any of these symptoms, make an appointment at our Monmouth Junction, Edison or Monroe office in New Jersey by calling: 732-662-3050. Our podiatrists, Dr. Ben Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah will examine your feet and toenails and prescribe the proper treatment. Left untreated, viral and bacterial infections can spread to other parts of your body.

 


By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
February 07, 2018
Category: Orthotics
Tags: Orthotics  

When patients come to us at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care with foot pain, our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah will conduct a complete foot and ankle examination and take your medical history. There are many treatment options available that will bring relief to foot problems but in some cases, particularly when the problem is biomechanical or due to a deformity, an ongoing solution is necessary—that’s when custom orthotics can come into play.

Orthotics can protect a vulnerable or inflamed part of the foot. They can also realign or reposition the foot to compensate for faulty foot function and shift weight to take stress off of a specific area. Orthotics can be worn daily to greatly reduce or eliminate foot pain.

Orthotic Designs

Orthotics come in many shapes and sizes and are made of a variety of materials depending on their purpose. There are three distinct types of orthotics:

Rigid—as the name implies, these are made of a firm material such as carbon fiber or plastic. A plaster or digital mold is the template for the orthotic which will control motion in the two-foot joints that lie directly below the ankle joint. Patients who use rigid orthotics will see a great reduction in aches and strain in legs, thighs and lower backs.

Semi-rigid—layers of soft material reinforced with rigid materials help improve balance. Children with flat feet and in- or out-toeing can also be helped by semi-rigid orthotics. Added arch support can relieve heel pain caused by flat feet as well.

Soft—cushioning is the main purpose of this type of orthotic. Also made from a custom mold, these are worn up against the sole of the foot and act as a shock absorber for the foot reducing pressure on sore spots and increasing balance. These can be very helpful for patients with diabetes, arthritis and certain deformities.

If you are experiencing ongoing aches or pain in your feet, contact our New Jersey offices in Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office for an appointment by calling 732-662-3050 and find out if orthotics can help you.