Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Posts for tag: diabetes

On brilliantly, beautiful days like today we all crave spending more time outside before the rain sets in for months on end. For most of us going out for a stroll in a park is no big deal, but for older adults and people with diabetes walking can lead to falls--in fact 25% of older adults fall each year. For people with diabetes the annual incidence rises to 39%.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) many problems can lead to increased fall risk for those over 65.

  • Problems with balance

  • Use of medications that can interfere with balance such as tranquilizers, sedatives, or anti-depressants.

  • Problems with vision

  • Foot pain or improper foot wear

  • Lower body weakness

  • Vitamin D deficiency

People with diabetes particularly those with peripheral neuropathy have additional fall risks including:

  • Decreased or no sensation in the feet

  • Impaired sweat and oil production which can place abnormal pressure on the bones and joints when walking

  • Muscle weakness

  • Painful foot problems such as bunions or hammertoe can cause pain that makes walking difficult.

    At the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City, Dr. Rion Berg specializes in treating patients with diabetes and diabetic neuropathy. We also offer a special "In Balance Fall Prevention Program". Even if you don't have diabetes, if you're over 65 and experiencing foot problems there is a lot that can be done to reduce or eliminate your pain so you can continue to enjoy the bright sunny days while they're still here.

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
May 20, 2016
Category: Uncategorized

Justin Bieber was recently spotted walking around Boston in bare feet, causing quite a stir. Well I suppose that's not saying much since just about anything Bieber does causes a stir. But as a Seattle podiatrist it does cause me some concern. Bieber, who is a role model for girls in their tweens, teens, and 20s, is sending the wrong message.

Now don't get me wrong I know that plenty of people love to go barefoot at the beach, pool, and other limited places, however, walking around a city barefoot is a big problem. And girls of that age in particular who are often busy texting on their phones just aren't going to pay attention to where they're stepping and what they're stepping on.

Broken glass, sharp metal, burning cigarettes--you name it are on our city streets. Plenty of people have come into my office with foreign bodies stuck in their feet from walking barefoot. Some of these can turn into pretty bad infections.

But that's not the only problem, Bieber aside. Walking barefoot can cause other problems for runners, athletes, and for those with flat feet. All of these folks are much more likely to develop plantar fasciitis. The ultimate lack of support is going barefoot. If you've had plantar fasciitis or are prone to develop it, wearing shoes or sandals with good support will keep heel pain at bay.

Diabetics should never go barefoot since many have neuropathy and have reduced or no sensation on the bottom of their feet. Stones or sharp objects can penetrate without their knowledge and can lead to painful ulcers which could lead to amputation.

So Justin, although you may think you're being cool by exposing your toes to the world your fans may be following suit and ending up in my office.

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
April 26, 2016
Category: diabetes
Tags: diabetes  

Phillip the Duck was pretty unlucky when his feet got frostbitten and he wasn't able to function very well. Fortunately, Phillip became a lucky duck when his owner turned to a middle school teacher who happened to have a 3D printer. Phillip received his new feet and now he's doing just fine.

Although we have entered an age where prosthetics for feet and legs are becoming more common, no one would want to lose a foot or foot function if they could avoid it.

As a Seattle foot doctor I work with diabetic patients to encourage them to check their feet on a daily basis to avoid developing foot ulcers which can lead to amputation. In diabetes, foot ulcers form due to reduced blood flow to the feet and nerve damage due to peripheral neuropathy. Nerve damage results in reduced sensation in the feet and the inability to sense minor cuts and blisters that can easily turn into ulcers.

Our focus at the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City is to help our diabetic patients early in the process by helping them prevent ulcers from forming. If ulcers do form we work with our patients to heal the ulcers to prevent limb loss.

If you have diabetes in addition to checking your feet on a daily basis for cuts, sores, or bruises, I recommend the following:

  • Wear thick sock without seams

  • Obtain shoes that fit properly; specific diabetic shoes are the best

  • Avoid going barefoot, period

  • Exercise daily to improve your circulation

  • Come in for an annual Comprehensive Diabetic Foot Exam

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 12, 2015
Category: diabetes

As the holidays draw near, most of us start salivating at the mere thought of eating some of our favorite foods. However, if you have diabetes or weight issues the holiday can be a minefield when it comes to navigating your way around the  Thanksgiving table.

Fortunately there are ways to enjoy the holiday without overindulging by following these simple tips.

Eat Ahead of Time
Although it may seem logical to skip breakfast on Thanksgiving Day, the experts say that eating a small meal earlier in the day can help you control your desire to over eat later on. Eat a breakfast with protein like eggs instead of having your usual coffee and toast. Protein will last longer in your body and you won't be starving when you arrive at the dinner table.

Consider The Ingredients
You may be hosting Thanksgiving or bringing a dish to share--either way there are ways you can choose ingredients that will be healthier for you and the guests.

  • Cut back on sugar - many recipes for Thanksgiving are loaded with sugar. Consider the classic yam dish with marshmallows on top. Yams already contain sugar which is what makes them super delicious. If you want to add zest to them, add spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Consider substituting white sugar with maple syrup or honey.
  • Use fat free chicken broth to baste the turkey and as the base for gravy
  • Skip the butter when serving mashed potatoes. Try using Yukon gold or red skinned potatoes. Because of their smooth and buttery nature they taste great without it.

Change Up Your Plates To Cut Calories
It's been shown that people will choose less food if their plate size is smaller. If you're hosting let your guests choose their plate size. If your celebrating somewhere else ask the person hosting to provide you with a smaller plate.

Choose Must Have Foods Only
Instead of scrambling to get everything on your plate--take a deep breath, look around the table, and take only your must haves. For example, rolls are almost always a staple at Thanksgiving but so is stuffing. If you know you must have stuffing to feel like you've really celebrated, pass up the rolls.

Savor The Food And The Experience
Because most of us eat so quickly, we don't realize we're full until we've already eaten too much. Put down your fork after each bite and actually taste the delicious food you just put in your mouth. Enjoy the company in addition to the food and you'll eat more slowly.

If you're experiencing foot pain or diabetes and need to see a podiatrist, call the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City 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
October 16, 2015
Category: foot conditions
Tags: diabetes   MRSA  

As we watch the news and learn about the career ending MRSA infection acquired by Daniel Fells of the NY Giants, it's scary to consider that your kid may be vulnerable to this potentially life threatening bacteria. As a podiatrist who has treated many wounds and saved limbs, I wanted to let you know about the things you can do to keep your young athlete safe.

First, what is MRSA?

MRSA stands for methicillin-resistant staph aureus. Methicillin was the antibiotic used to treat staph aureus in the past but now this new form is resistant to it making it much more difficult to treat and more dangerous to the person who gets it. MRSA is highly contagious and can be easily transmitted through body contact which is one of the reasons athletes in high contact sports such as football, basketball, and soccer need to be educated about it.

Fortunately there are specific symptoms for young athletes and their parents to watch for and specific things that can be done to prevent it.

Symptoms of MRSA

The symptoms of MRSA include:

  • Swollen, painful, red bumps

  • Heat or warmth

  • Pus or drainage from a wound

  • More advanced signs are fever, chills, body aches, rash, or shortness of breath and can mean the infection has entered the bloodstream (be aware that some of these symptoms mimic the flu)

Prevention of MRSA in Young Athletes

  • Good hand hygiene is extremely important. Kids should wash their hands before and after workouts and practice.

  • Scrapes, cuts, and injuries should be washed thoroughly and bandaged.

  • Kids should not share soap, towels, or razors.

  • Athletes need to shower immediately after practice.

  • Athletic equipment should be wiped down before and after use

If someone you know shows these signs and symptoms, contact your primary care physician immediately or call 911 if symptoms have advanced.

Does a loved one have diabetes and an ulcer that is not going away? 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 "Happy Feet for the Rest of Your Life" , 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.