If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, complications of your illness that negatively affect the health of your feet, ankles, and lower legs are real possibilities. Perhaps none of these is more serious or dangerous than diabetic foot ulcers. These are wounds or open sores that appear on the feet, usually on the bottom. If a diabetic foot ulcer develops and is not treated promptly, the wound can deepen into the muscles, tendons, and bones. Hospitalization, infection, surgery, amputation, or even death can result.
Many diabetics experience peripheral neuropathy as a result of their illness. This is a loss of sensation and feeling in the feet. It can mean that you don’t feel small nicks or cuts as they occur, that they can become infected without your being aware of the problem, and that they don’t heal, creating ulcers. Poor circulation and foot deformities caused by diabetes are also culprits.
If you have diabetes, and especially if your diabetes makes it hard for you to experience sensation in your feet, it’s important to check your feet daily. If you can’t see them easily, ask someone to do it for you. If that’s not possible, purchase a small framed mirror and put it on the floor. Use it to inspect your feet.
Most podiatrists recommend that patients with diabetes visit for a check-up at least once a year, and more often if something is wrong. What did your daily inspection reveal? Has something changed since yesterday? Maybe it’s time to schedule an appointment with your foot doctor. Podiatrists like Craig Wexler, DPM treat diabetic patients every day. With years of training and experience, your podiatrist is the best-qualified medical professional to help you manage any health issues related to your feet, ankles, or lower legs. At your visit, your podiatrist will conduct a thorough examination resulting in accurate diagnosis, then work with you to create an individualized, effective plan for treatment and ongoing care.