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Here’s the problem. It’s very common for a diabetic to start to feel some burning or tingling in the feet. This is the early signs of nerve damage known as Diabetic Neuropathy. At first it may not seem like a big deal but with time it can progress and eventually become very bothersome. Many patients describe not being able to relax or sleep because of the burning.
As it progresses it can actually become painful and eventually you can lose the feeling in your feet. Loss of feeling often means you may not feel a foot injury. You could have a tack or rock in your shoe and walk on it all day without knowing it. Often times it isn’t found out until it becomes infected.
This lack of feeling can lead to a Diabetic Ulcer which is an “open sore” that forms most often on the bottom of the foot. Because of the Diabetic Neuropathy, the ulcers don’t hurt.
It’s these Diabetic Ulcers that lead to amputation. It can start out by just amputation of a toe but it’s not uncommon for that to lead to amputation of a foot or leg. And it can eventually cause death.
In fact, did you know diabetics that present to the foot doctor with a first time foot ulcer have less chance of living 5 years than people who have breast cancer, prostate cancer and Hodgkin’s lymphoma?
Other “cold hard” facts you should know about diabetes:
Sorry, we really aren’t trying to scare you….Actually, now that we think about it….Yes, we are trying to scare you! This is a serious and can be a life threatening problem and you are important to us.
But here’s the good news…the board certified foot doctors at Advanas Foot & Ankle Specialists have developed a very thorough and comprehensive program that will DRASTICALLY decrease the chances of you having a foot problem or developing a diabetic ulcer which could lead to amputation or death.
Depending on how much attention you need, our program will schedule you for a series of visits over the next 12 months that will involve everything from testing your circulation and nerve supply to addressing any skin or nail issues your feet may have.
We will then be able to design a treatment plan that attempts to decrease the chance of you developing Diabetic Neuropathy or decreasing it if you already have it. There are studies that show certain all-natural supplements when taken in the right combination can actually help. (Be sure and ask the doctor or assistant about the right supplements to take.)*
There are dozens of tests that could be done to assess your feet but we at Advanas Foot & Ankle Specialists have found 4 specific tests can give us the majority of information we need to help keep your feet “out of trouble.”
X-Rays – Evaluating your bone structure of your feet through weight bearing X-Rays can reveal issues such as decrease in bone density (osteopenia, osteoporosis). In addition it can show early signs of Charcot Deformity, which can cause dislocations of the joints in the feet. X-rays also offers us a baseline to refer to if there are any changes in feet.
Doppler Exam – A Doppler is an ultrasound test that uses reflected sound waves to see how the blood flows through the vessels of the feet. It can show blocked or reduced flow of blood through narrow areas in the small arteries of the feet and toes which can lead to gangrene.
Comprehensive Diabetes Foot Exam – This is an extensive exam of the feet which includes evaluating every aspect of your feet. From the skin, nails and hair growth of the feet to the bone structure and analysis of your gait as well as shoe gear. It also evaluates the sensations in the feet and allows your podiatrist to determine your risk level.
Nerve Fiber Testing – This is relatively new technology which can actually be predictive of Neuropathy prior to the onset of symptoms. It allows the patient to address the condition BEFORE it becomes a problem. And if you already have neuropathy the nerve fiber testing can tell us if our treatments are reducing it.
After evaluating the results of these tests we will be able to determine how much “risk” your feet are at and what we can do to limit the chance for a foot problem.
We at Advanas Foot & Ankle Specialists are pleased to tell you that many of you have relied on us for their diabetic foot and ankle problems. And it’s a responsibility we take seriously.
We suspect that many people suffer from foot pain and write it off as normal. We’re here to tell you that doesn’t have to be the case. Our podiatry office prides itself on being a pleasant environment with a caring podiatry team whose goal is to provide the latest in podiatry care and treatment options for every foot and ankle problem.
To make an appointment at any of our podiatry offices, please give us a call at 800.856.1106. Allow us to help you determine which podiatry office is most convenient for you. Our podiatry offices are located in Sturgis, MI, Portage, MI, Paw Paw, MI, Dowagiac, MI, Coldwater, MI, and Angola, IN.
We offer same day appointments and flexible scheduling, as well as a $25 Initial Savings Certificate.
Our podiatrists and foot doctors in Angola, IN, Coldwater, MI, Dowagiac, MI,
Paw Paw, MI, Portage, MI or Sturgis, MI can start helping you in a few ways: