Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Posts for category: diabetes

By Dr. Rion Berg
November 23, 2020
Category: diabetes
Tags: diabetes   gout   Thanksgiving  

food being deliveredFor most of us Thanksgiving is all about food. Each year we look forward to eating our favorites  including turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie. But for many of us Thanksgiving is filled with many pitfalls, particularly if we have diabetes or gout.  Eating the wrong thing or too much of our favorites can elevate our blood sugar or cause foot pain.

This year we have the added problem of a pandemic.  While we might normally be able to ask our families to cook special treats to meet our dietary needs, this year there is already a lot of stress and strain on everyone. We may not want to bother those who are already going out of their way by making special home deliveries during Covid.

If you are doing the preparation and you have people with these health conditions in your family it doesn't need to take more effort, just more forethought.  If you're the one with diabetes or gout, there are some steps you can take to avoid pushing your health into the red zone this holiday season.

Making Healthier Turkey

While turkey is usually a healthy food for anyone, there are ways to make it healthier. Try this turkey recipe by Eating Well to benefit those who want to reduce their fat and salt intake.

Limit Foods that Contain Purines

Foods with purines can cause those prone to gout to experience pain, particularly in their big toes. It's not the purines themselves that are the problem but the uric acid they turn into to.  Foods high in purine are: mussels, scallops and tuna, red meat, and liver. Drinks with high levels of purines are red wine and beer and drinks containing fructose.  Drinking lots of water can help flush the uric acid from your system.

Cut Back on Sugar

Most of us eat way more sugar then we need to make our food taste good. Many of our Thanksgiving foods are full of them. Consider the classic yam dish with marshmallows on top. Yams already contain sugar which is what makes them super delicious. If you want to make them special without the added sugar, add spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. You may also consider substituting white sugar with Splenda or Stevia, both better options for people with diabetes.

Choose Your Carbs Wisely

Besides turkey, most of us relish eating mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, dressing, and gravy. Carbs can be a minefield for someone with diabetes. Eating too much of them can lead to a sharp increase in blood sugar.

You have a couple of choices this Thanksgiving. Either you can eat small amounts of each of your favorite foods or decide upfront which foods are a must have.  Then ask your host to only deliver those foods. Another idea is to apportion these favorites out over several days.

Eat Ahead of Time

One way to moderate how much you eat on Thanksgiving is to eat ahead of time. Don't skip breakfast. Instead make your morning meal one with protein like eggs instead of having your usual coffee and toast. Protein is more satisfying and lasts longer in the body.

If you're a diabetic or experiencing foot pain due to gout, call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment. Often same day for emergencies and less than 2 weeks for chronic foot pain. You can also request an appointment online.

In addition, our newsletter "Foot Sense" comes out monthly.  You can also check out our past issues. Every issue contains a mouth-watering recipe and can be printed out for easier reading!

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By Dr. Rion Berg
February 09, 2018
Category: diabetes
Tags: smartwatch  

Apple smartwatch app-maker Cardiogram and the University of California San Francisco just released data showing they could detect diabetes in 85% of people who already had diabetes. A study of 14,000 diabetic patients wore the smartwatch which used artificial intelligence to learn their heart rate patterns. These patterns were tied to their diabetes.

The study still needs to be validated by the medical community, but many are excited about the possibility of detecting diabetes in people who don't know they have it.

Early detection of diabetes is important so treatment can begin immediately. Diabetes affects the entire body including your feet.

Diabetes can lead to neuropathy (lack of feeling in your feet) which can make walking around barefoot dangerous. Most of us don't want to feel pain, but in some cases pain is a good thing. If you stepped on a thumbtack you'd want to know about it.

Failing to feel a thumbtack puncture or a sore caused by a shoe that doesn't fit quite right can lead to foot ulcers. Ulcers can take a long time to heal, particularly in people with diabetes with poor circulation.

So should you wear a smartwatch to detect diabetes? Sure why not, once the company has perfected it! But don't let it be the only way you discover you have it.

Make sure you see you doctor for regular check-ups and if you have the following signs and symptoms make an appointment right away:

  • increased thirst and frequent urination

  • increased hunger

  • weight loss

  • fatigue

  • blurry vision

  • slow healing sores

  • areas of darkened skin

Additional Resources
Top 10 Tips for Diabetic Feet (printable)
Comprehensive Diabetic Foot Exam

If you need diabetic foot care, call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment. Often same day for emergencies and less than 2 weeks for chronic foot pain. You can also request an appointment online.

Your free foot book "No More Foot Pain" is waiting to be sent to your home.

In addition, our newsletter "Foot Sense" comes out monthly.  You can also check out our past issues. Every issue contains a mouth-watering recipe and can be printed out for easier reading!

Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.

Follow Dr. Berg on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+

By Dr Rion Berg
February 02, 2018
Category: diabetes
Tags: Untagged

Whether you're rooting for the underdogs, the Philadelphia Eagles, or the New England Patriots this Super Bowl Sunday you're going to have to eat. Here's a fabulous recipe sure to fill you up in a delicious, healthy way. It features sweet potatoes, chicken, and spinach. If you're dairy-free, substitute the white cheddar cheese with Daiya Mozzarella dairy free cheese.

Healthy Chipotle Chicken Sweet Potato Skins

  • 3 medium sweet potatoes
  • 3/4 pound boneless skinless chicken breast about 2 small
  • 1/4 cups olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 2 cloves garlic minced or grated
  • 3 whole chipotle pepper minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cups spinach half a 10oz bag
  • 5 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese grated
  • chopped cilantro for garnish

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Wash your sweet potatoes and prick all over with a fork. Place in the oven and bake for 50-60 minutes or until fork tender. Place your chicken in a baking dish and rub with a tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in the oven with the potatoes and bake for 25 minutes. Allow to cool and shred the chicken with a fork or your hands. When the sweet potatoes are done cut in half and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes.

In a medium size bowl combine the olive oil, lime juice, garlic, chipotle peppers, oregano, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Heat a small skillet over medium heat and wilt the spinach (this can also be done in the microwave). Toss the spinach and shredded chicken together, set aside and keep warm.

Turn the oven up to 400 degrees. Scrape the sweet potato out of the peel, leaving a medium size layer of flesh inside with the peel so that it can stand up on its own (I reserved the remaining flesh, for another use) and place in a baking dish. Brush the skins with with a little of the chipotle sauce and bake for 5-10 muntes until nice and crisp. While the skins bake mix the spinach, chicken and chipotle sauce together. Remove skins from the oven and stuff with the chicken mixture, top with shredded cheese and bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the skins are hot and crisp.

Source: Half-Baked Harvest

When we think about preventing Type II diabetes we typically consider diet and exercise to lose weight. While these things are important, a new study shines the light on the importance of maintaining a strong social network in order to reduce our odds as well.

In this study, social isolation was associated with increased odds of developing Type II diabetes for both men and women. Social isolation was defined as size of a person's social network, total contacts over 6 months, percentage of daily/weekly contacts, proximity to social contacts, social participation, living with others vs living alone, and informational, emotional, and practical support.

Living Alone

Living alone did not increase the odds for women developing the disease, but for men there was a 59% higher odds of developing prediabetes and an 84% higher odds of developing Type II diabetes. For men who already had Type II diabetes the association was 94% higher.

Lack of Social Participation

Both men and women were at greater odds for developing Type II diabetes, but for women it was far more significant. Lack of social participation for women conferred a whopping 112% higher odds of already having the disease and for men it showed a 42% higher odds.

What to Do About It?

Although this study does not show causation, the strong association between those who did develop the disease vs those who did not makes us pay greater attention to the need for increasing our social networks and contacts and those we care about.

Joining clubs or a book group, joining a church or synagogue, participating in team sports, and attending classes or having lunch at a senior center are all ways to increase our social network.

For more information, read the study.

Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment. Often same day for emergencies and less than 2 weeks for chronic foot pain. You can also request an appointment online.

Your free foot book "No More Foot Pain" is waiting to be sent to your home.

In addition, our newsletter "Foot Sense" comes out monthly.  You can also check out our past issues. Every issue contains a mouth-watering recipe and can be printed out for easier reading!

Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.

Follow Dr. Berg on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+

In November we start thinking about Thanksgiving. But did you know that November is also National Diabetes Month? As a Seattle podiatrist who treats hundreds of people with Type 2 diabetes, it's extremely important to me to get out the word about how to prevent and manage it.

How many people have it?

As of 2015, 30.3 million Americans or 9.4% of our population had diabetes.  The vast majority of those people had Type II diabetes. About 7.2 million Americans have it but go undiagnosed. Americans over 65, bear the largest burden of diabetes with over 25% or 12 million diagnosed and undiagnosed.

The number of cases of diabetes continues to rise, most alarmingly in young adults ages 10-19. A study done by the Centers for Disease Control looked at youth from 2002-2012. Newly diagnosed cases of type 2 diabetes had increased by 4.8 percent.

How do I know if I'm at risk?

You can check your risk by taking this test. If you score greater than five on the test, talk to your doctor so you can find out if you have diabetes.

What to do if I'm diagnosed?

To manage and prevent the condition from causing other health problems such as heart disease, kidney disease, and foot ulcers (which can lead to amputation if not treated) your doctor will very likely send you to an endocrinologist that specializes in diabetes. In the meantime you can check out the information provided by the American Diabetes Association for newly diagnosed patients.

Foot health

As mentioned above diabetes can cause dangerous foot ulcers. Staying on top of your foot health will require you to check your feet on a daily basis to ensure that you have no cracked or open sores. In addition, you can check out my 10 Ten Tips for Diabetic Feet.

If you have diabetes and need to be seen, call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment.  You can also request an appointment online.

Your free foot book "No More Foot Pain" is waiting to be sent to your home.

Our newsletter "Foot Sense" comes out monthly.  You can also check out our past issues. Every issue contains a mouth-watering recipe. You can print out the newsletter for easier reading!

Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.

Follow Dr. Berg on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+