Diabetic Foot Care FAQs
How does Diabetes affect my feet?
A diabetic foot exam should always search for any signs of injury or abnormality along the top and bottom of the foot. These signs include cuts, blisters, sores, ingrown toenails, swelling, changes in color, changes in temperature, and signs of infection such as redness and discharge. The effects of peripheral neuropathy on the feet can make it more difficult to physically sense whether any of these warning signs have occurred, which makes a self-exam important. Even a small cut can grow into a dangerous ulcer if it goes unnoticed and the foot continues to be used.
In addition to self-exams, it is also important to have your feet seen by a professional at least once per year. Dr. Gregg Neibauer and the staff of Alpine Foot & Ankle Clinic are here and ready to serve just that purpose for you, and to address any other foot and ankle needs you may have. Schedule an appointment with our Missoula, MT office by calling (406) 721-4007.
What are the effects of diabetes on my feet?
There are two effects of diabetes that can have major implications for the feet.
First, the disease can contribute to a narrowing of the arteries and a reduction in the quality of your circulation. The feet, being far from the heart to begin with, can often be the first parts of your body to tangibly suffer the effects of this. The ability of the feet to heal is reduced, and they often feel cold.
Second, the nerves can become damaged as poor circulation diminishes nourishment to the feet. Also known as neuropathy, this can lead to strange sensations in the feet or numbness. Combined, an inability to feel an injury and an inability to heal quickly can be very dangerous.
Other potential effects include dry skin and calluses.
Regular diabetic foot care and self-inspections of the feet are essential elements to avoiding major complications from this disease. Dr. Gregg Neibauer and the staff of Alpine Foot & Ankle Clinic can help you with any advice or care you may need. Call our Missoula, MT office at (406) 721-4007 to schedule an appointment.
Why is the wound on my foot not healing?
The most frequent cause of a wound on the foot that fails to heal quickly is complications from diabetes. A couple of factors typically come into play. First, the disease can interfere with circulation of blood in the body, and the feet are often among the areas that suffer the consequences of this most given their location far from the heart. Not receiving enough nutrients from the blood can mean a reduced healing factor, making wounds more likely to remain open longer. Second, nerve damage (also known as neuropathy) in the feet can cause a small cut or wound to occur unnoticed. Without proper wound care, these injuries can become worse, meaning even more time needed to properly heal.
It is important for those who have or are at risk for diabetes to keep an eye on their feet regularly. If you notice a wound or other abnormality that doesn’t go away in a few days, don’t wait—contact us at Alpine Foot and Ankle Clinic by calling (406) 721-4007.