Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Posts for: November, 2016

After all the turkey is gone and with Christmas and New Year's approaching, as a Northwesterner you look forward to hiking, skiing, or long walks. Not only are these activities invigorating in the cold, crisp air they will keep your weight in check. Getting more exercise is also a great way to maintain your health especially if you suffer from diabetes or are at risk for heart disease or stroke. (Of course it's always important to check with your doctor before taking on a new activity).

If you plan on hitting the trails this fall and winter it's always a good idea to take specific precautions so that your feet and ankles don't take on the brunt of your exuberance.

Go Slowly With New Activities

Our bodies are not machines. We need to take on new exercises at a slower pace than we might imagine. Take on a realistic distance and elevation gain if you're just starting out. For example, if your friends are trying to talk you into a five mile roundtrip hike; as a beginner you'll be at must greater risk for injury and pain.

Get Your Feet and Ankles in Shape

Just like the rest of your body, your feet and ankles are going to need some warming up and strengthening before they'll feel good taking on a new activity. We found this great blog written by the folks at Livestrong called "12 Anytime Moves to Strengthen Your Feet and Ankles" that will go a long way to get you in shape and avoid injuries.

Buy the Right Shoes

Shoe companies make different types of shoes for specific types of activities. Be sure you go to the experts (a running store like Super Jock 'N Jill if you're planning to run or a store like REI if you're planning to hike or ski). Bring in your current shoes or boots so the salesperson can check for wear patterns and don't forget your orthotics. The boots should feel comfortable from the start or move on. New boots and shoes can also help prevent slipping and sliding when you're on uneven terrain.

If you have a foot or ankle injury, call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment, often same day. You can also request an appointment online.

Download our new book "The Complete Guide to Stopping Heel Pain in Runners"  

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.

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By Dr. Rion Berg
November 22, 2016
Category: diabetes
Tags: Untagged

As a Seattle podiatrist I'm always trying to find the best ways to keep my patients healthy. I've talked to my patients many times about the best ways to take care of their feet, particularly those with diabetes. A huge part of treating diabetes is following the guidelines given by a diabetic educator or nutritionist.

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, one thing you can do is cook a healthier turkey. We found one from the Eating Well website that cuts the calories and fat by more than half and keeps the salt content low in comparison to a standard American turkey.

Apple-Shallot Roasted Turkey with Cider Gravy

  • 1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig of fresh thyme

Gravy

  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups apple cider
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Preparation

To prepare turkey: Position rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 475°F.

Remove giblets and neck from turkey cavities and reserve to make stock. Place the turkey, breast-side up, on a rack in a large roasting pan; pat dry with paper towels.

Combine oil, chopped herbs, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Rub the herb mixture all over the turkey, under the skin and onto the breast meat. Place herb sprigs, 6 shallot halves and apple in the cavity. Tuck the wing tips under the turkey. Tie the legs together with kitchen string. Add 3 cups water to the pan.

Roast the turkey until the skin is golden brown, 45 minutes. Remove from the oven. If using a remote digital thermometer, insert it into the deepest part of the thigh, close to the joint. Cover just the breast with a double layer of foil, cutting as necessary to fit. Scatter the remaining shallots in the pan around the turkey.

Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees . Return the turkey to the oven and continue roasting until the thermometer (or an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh without touching bone) registers 165°F, 1 to 1 3/4 hours more. If the pan dries out, add 1 cup water and tilt the turkey to let juices run out of the cavity into the pan.

Meanwhile, prepare stock: Combine neck and giblets (except liver), 6 cups water, onion, carrot and celery in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Add peppercorns, bay leaf and thyme. Reduce heat and simmer, skimming and discarding any foam, for 1 hour.

Strain stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl and let cool. Discard solids.

When the turkey is done, transfer to a serving platter (reserve pan juices and shallots), tent with foil and let rest for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare gravy: Whisk 1/2 cup of the cooled stock with flour in a small bowl until smooth.

Set the roasting pan over two burners on medium-high heat. Add cider and vinegar; bring to a boil and cook, scraping up the browned bits from the pan, until the liquid is reduced by about half, 6 to 8 minutes. Add 3 1/2 cups of the stock. Increase heat to high; return to a boil, whisking often. Boil until the liquid is reduced by about half, 8 to 12 minutes.

Whisk the flour mixture into the pan. Boil, whisking constantly, until the gravy is thickened, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and pour the gravy through a fine sieve into a large measuring cup. (Discard the solids.) Season with salt and pepper.

Remove the string from the turkey and carve. Serve with the gravy.

Those who want the benefits of the reduced fat will need to remove the skin, go easy on the turkey portion and gravy.

Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment, often same day. You can also request an appointment online.

Get our free foot book "No More Foot Pain", mailed directly to your home.

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.

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By Dr. Rion Berg
November 18, 2016
Category: foot conditions
Tags: Untagged

As Thanksgiving approaches many of us will be standing and walking for hours gathering up the foods and supplies we'll need to make a great dinner. When we finally get a chance to sit down we may notice that our feet our swollen.

Should you be concerned?

Walking All Day

Having swollen feet after a day of walking is not uncommon and is not usually something to be concerned about. To get your puppies looking svelte again, make sure that you keep them elevated above your heart to get your circulation flowing regularly. Call your doctor if they haven't returned to normal by the next day.

Infection

People with diabetes and diabetic neuropathy are at greater risk for foot infections. Checking your feet daily and seeing your podiatrist regularly can go a long way in preventing and treating infections. If you notice an open sore, bruising, or redness on your foot be sure to see Dr. Rion Berg in Seattle immediately. Enlist family members to check out your feet if you lack the flexibility to do so.

Pregnancy

Swollen feet are very common in pregnancy and are usually nothing to worry about. Extra fluids are produced by the body to support your baby. Wear comfortable shoes that provide good support, elevate your feet above your heart, and wear compression stockings to help with this uncomfortable condition. Sometimes swelling can be a sign of a dangerous condition called preeclampsia which is accompanied by high blood pressure. Call your doctor immediately if this occurs.

Weight Gain

It's not uncommon for men and women to suffer from swollen feet if there's been significant weight gain. Weight gain can be a big problem for some people with diabetes and increased weight can also put you at risk for other chronic conditions. Work with a nutritionist to assist you in your return to a normal weight to reduce your swollen feet and for your overall health.

Pain

As we age or gain weight our shoes are going to need some adjusting otherwise we can experience swelling and pain. Aging can cause our feet to flatten out increasing the size of our shoes and weight gain can increase the width of our feet; also, wearing pointy toed shoes or high heels for hours on end can certainly give you swollen feet. When going out to a dance or party you can bring your higher heels, but be sure that you bring along a lower heeled pair so that you can switch off to avoid pain and swelling.

Further reading:
Diabetic Foot Care Guidelines
8 Ways To Pamper Your Pregnant Feet
The Wonders of Weight Loss for Your Feet

Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment, often same day. You can also request an appointment online.

Get our free foot book "No More Foot Pain", mailed directly to your home.

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+

 

 


With all the nasty bacteria and fungus that may be lurking in your nail salon it's better to do your own pedicure. After all, avoiding toenail fungus should be high on your self-care list since it can be hard to get rid of and can cause other painful problems. Giving yourself a pedicure at this time of year is also a great treat. As the holidays approach it's nice to give yourself this gift since very soon you'll be running all over town buying food and gifts for your loved ones.

There are a lot of DIY (do it yourself) methods for giving yourself a pedicure. While Sarah Jessica Parker doesn't reveal her full pedicure instructions, she does mention using wet sand as a way to exfoliate dead skin cells from her feet. Unless you live in Malibu or have a kids sandbox in your backyard, using sand is probably not the most logical choice for getting your feet all smooth and soft, but there are a lot of other ways to accomplish the same thing.

Here's a great way to give yourself a pedicure without having to spend much money:

Step 1: Soften and clean your feet

Soak your feet in warm water using any an inexpensive soap like Softsoap and a handful of baking soda for 10 minutes. This will help soften and clean your tootsies.

Step 2 Exfoliate your skin

To get rid of dead skin cells and make your feet feel great you can exfoliate your skin using a scrub like St. Ives Apricot Scrub or another scrub you like to you use. You can also use a pumice stone or an emery board.

Step 3 Push Back Cuticles

Although a salon often cuts your cuticles, it's not the best idea. Cutting cuticles can lead to infection which is what you're trying to avoid in the first place. Push back your cuticles instead using an orange stick.

Step 4 Trim toenails

Now is the perfect time to trim your toenails since they'll be nice and soft and easier to cut. Make sure you cut them straight across with toenail clippers to avoid getting ingrown toenails.

Step 5 Massage in moisturizer

Rub in and massage your feet and toes with your favorite moisturizer. Choose an inexpensive brand such as Lubriderm or one a notch higher in luxuriousness such as Gilden Tree. For some massage tips check out this video.

Step 6 Remove moisturizer

For longer lasting nail polish, it's important to remove the moisturizer off your nails by applying nail polish remover. A couple of non-toxic brands are Pure Vitality Beauty or Piggie Polish remover, available at Target.

Step 7 Apply polish

Not all nail polishes are created equal. Many contain toxic chemicals and can weaken your nails causing splitting and other unsightly nail problems.  We highly recommend using Dr.'s Remedy Enriched Nail Polish on your toes. This polish was created by podiatrists and does not contain toluene or formaldehyde. It does contain good stuff such as tea tree oil which in anti-fungal, vitamins, and wheat protein.

More information about toenail fungus:

5 Myths About Toenail Fungus
7 Hacks to Prevent Toenail Fungus in Runners
Ignoring Toenail Fungus Is A Bad Idea for Young Mothers

Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment, often same day. You can also request an appointment online.

Get our free foot book "No More Foot Pain", mailed directly to your home.

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
November 09, 2016
Category: foot care

When you have constant pain in your feet you don't think twice about making an appointment with a podiatrist. You want to get rid of it as soon as possible so you can get back to donig what you love.

But sometimes you can develop a foot condition that may be painful on and off or it comes with other symptoms. In these situations you might decide to put off a doctor's visit, especially if you're really busy or you think, what's the big deal.

Here's what to do if you have the following symptoms.

Rough and dried out heels

Most often dried out heels occur in people as they age or have a condition like diabetes. In the summer dry heels can occur in anyone who wears sandals or walks around barefoot. Dry heels can be unsightly but they can also be dangerous. People with diabetes often have reduced sensation in their feet. This condition, called diabetic neuropathy, makes it more likely for feet to becoming cracked and develop ulcers.

What to do:

  • It's very important that people with diabetes keep their feet moisturized to avoid cracking and ulcer development.

  • There are several moisturizers on the market to keep your feet soft. Our office recommends Amerigel, a lotion created just for this purpose.

Foot cramps

Foot cramps can certainly be painful but most of us just assume that they're normal and don't need to worry about them. Although this is true if it happens occasionally, there are several reasons to check out these symptoms if they become more frequent. Pregnant women can experience them later in their pregnancy due to decreased circulation of the feet. For others in can mean a deficiency in certain minerals such as magnesium, calcium, or potassium.

What to do:

  • Massage them

  • Tell your doctor you're concerned about their frequency.

Smelly feet

Both men and women can experience excessively, smelly feet but men are more prone to a condition called hyperhidrosis. For the rest of us stress, some medications, fluid intake and hormonal changes can increase the amount of sweat our body produces. Take the following steps to both prevent and treat odiferous feet.

What to do:

  • Wash your feet with an anti-bacterial soap

  • Use a deodorizer on your clean feet such as Gordon's No. Five Spray Foot Powder or Pedilux 4.

  • Wear socks that wick away moisture from your feet

  • If you run, be sure to change your shoes on a daily basis to let them dry out

To kill the odor in your shoes use an Ultraviolet Shoe Sanitizer like Shoe Zap.

Cold Toes

A fairly common condition that turns your toes red, white and blue is one brought on by cold weather called Primary Raynaud's disease. It's not entirely clear why some people have narrowing of the blood vessels (vasospasm) in their toes in the colder months. Once the blood returns to the toes after a vasospasm, you can experience throbbing, tingling, or numbness in the toes. Although there is no treatment for this condition, it does not indicate an underlying health problem.  

Raynauds's Phenomenon is a different condition that can be brought on by an underlying immune disorder, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, certain medications, and smoking.

For help with this second condition:

  • Stop smoking

  • Talk to your physician about the symptoms your experiencing,

  • Get help managing your diabetes, cholesterol, and high blood pressure.

Fungal nails and athlete's foot

Fungus loves dark and damp places and so it tends to live around and in between your toes (athlete's foot) and under and on top of your toenails (onychomycosis). Athlete's foot can be treated topically by non-prescription anti-fungal treatment you can purchase over the counter.

Onychomycosis, the fungus that causes fungal nails, is a difference story altogether. Like the fungus that causes athlete's foot it thrives in the same kind of environment

What to do to prevent it:

  • Wear socks that wick away moisture

  • Change shoes on a daily basis to let them dry out in between

  • Avoid going barefoot in locker room and pools

Treating toenail fungus once you have it is a whole other issue. Toenail fungus is very hard to get rid of once you have it and the treatments methods are imperfect. The best thing to do is to see a Seattle podiatrist that specializes in treating fungus and get your nails tested to ensure you have fungus.  

Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment, often same day. You can also request an appointment online.

Get our free foot book "No More Foot Pain", mailed directly to your home.

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+