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Posts for tag: neuropathy

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
November 02, 2016
Category: Diabetic Foot Care
Tags: neuropathy  

According to the American Diabetes Association, about 29 million Americans have diabetes. At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care one of the areas of major podiatric concern that we work with our diabetic patients to identify and treat is neuropathy. Nervous system damage affects well over half of patients with diabetes, causing a loss of sensation in the feet and hands. Your nerves are what relay messages to your brain about pain, touch and temperature. When these pathways are damaged, patients are less likely to perceive injuries, which in the case of diabetic patients, can lead to dangerous ulcers and even amputation.  Because another condition associated with diabetes is reduced circulation, healing of an injury can take a very long time and lead to serious infections. There are ways to help minimize nerve damage if neuropathy is caught in its initial stages. That’s why it’s important to recognize the symptoms of nerve damage. These include:

  • Tingling or pins and needles sensation in the feet
  • Unsteady on your feet; difficulty feeling your feet when you walk
  • Stabbing or shooting pain in your feet
  • You have gotten a blister or cut on your foot and have not felt it
  • Your feet get very cold or very hot
  • Numbness
  • Feet and legs hurt at night
  • Muscle weakness in feet and legs
  • Feet appear to have changed shape

Be Proactive in Preventing Nerve Damage

If you have noticed any of the above symptoms, you need to make an appointment with one of our board certified foot and ankle surgeons, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah as soon as possible. The podiatrist will examine your feet and has a number of ways of testing and assessing the nerve pathways to and from your feet.

As a patient with diabetes, and particularly if you are having trouble with lack of feeling in your feet, you should check your feet daily for signs of injuries or changes. Regularly scheduled visits with your podiatrist should also be part of your care regimen. If you haven’t already discussed regular podiatric care with the foot doctor or you have questions about your feet and diabetes, contact our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office today.

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
March 03, 2016
Category: Diabetic Foot Care
Tags: Ulcers   neuropathy   wounds  

Patients with diabetes have to be particularly careful about taking care of their feet. Diabetes can reduce blood flow to the feet, making even small cuts or blisters difficult to heal. Neuropathy, or nerve damage, another common component of the disease, makes it harder to perceive pain and injury creating a doubly dangerous situation for these patients. At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care, we have experience treating diabetic patients. Our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah would like to offer the following suggestions for protecting the feet of diabetic patients and preventing serious medical problems:

  1. Check your feet daily (or have someone do it for you). Look for changes in skin color, bruising, cuts or blisters. Report any changes to your podiatrist.
  2. Choose footwear that is roomy and made out of breathable materials. Run your hand around the inside of the shoes before you buy them to check for rough stitching or material that may rub on your foot and cause friction or a blister. Shoes should fit comfortably from the moment you try them on—no breaking in period.
  3. Wash your feet every day with a mild soap and dry gently but completely.
  4. Moisturize your feet with an emollient lotion or cream but avoid the areas between the toes as this could encourage a fungal infection.
  5. Trim toenails (or have someone cut them for you) straight across and not too short to avoid ingrown toenails.
  6. Do not use a heating pad or hot water bottle on your feet. Decreased sensation may prevent you from realizing when something is too hot and you could end up burning your feet. Wear socks to bed if your feet are cold at night.
  7. No bathroom surgery! Do not attempt to cut or trim corns or calluses, pop blisters or do anything that could result in cutting yourself. This opens the doorway to infection.
  8. Don’t walk barefoot, even at home. This increases your chances of stepping on something and cutting your foot.
  9. Avoid smoking as this further decreases circulation.
  10. Follow your doctor’s instructions and eat a healthy diet to keep your diabetes under control.

Patients with diabetes should have regular podiatric checkups. Schedule an appointment at our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office online or by calling: 732-662-3050.