Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Posts for tag: diabetic neuropathy

In the health conscience Northwest, many of us ask our guests to remove their shoes when entering the house. The last thing most of us want is for people to track in allergens, pesticides, petroleum products, and bacteria of all sorts including C Difficile which can cause gastrointestinal problems. Parents with babies who are crawling have even more reason for concern since the risk of exposure for them is much higher and also can have a greater effect on their health.

However, asking friends and family to remove their shoes before coming into your home can present a problem from a foot health standpoint. Here are some examples.

Diabetes
People with diabetes should never go barefoot in any environment. The risk of stepping on an object and creating a bruise or open cut can go unnoticed and can lead to ulcer formation which can be difficult to heal. Also people with diabetes often have diabetic neuropathy where feeling their feet on the ground can be difficult. Going without shoes can make a fall more likely.

Plantar Fasciitis
Friends and family who have heel pain or plantar fasciitis should also refrain from going barefoot. As a Seattle podiatrist I always tell my patients that have this condition to be sure to wear a supportive sandal to prevent their plantar fascia from getting re-injured.

Fall Prevention in Older Adults
Even if you don't have diabetic neuropathy if you're an older adult and have a fear of falling or have already fallen going barefoot is also contraindicated.

Some solutions to this thorny problem can include:

-advise guests ahead of time that you have a no shoes policy. That way they can bring their own slippers or other shoes that they only wear inside.

-providing slippers with some tread to people who come to your home. Be sure to provide clean sock as well. Guests who have toenail fungus could pass this along to others if they're feet aren't covered inside the slippers.

-provide a clean and safe environment inside your house. If guests opt to go barefoot the last thing you'd want to happen is for them to injure themselves on a tack or other object on the floor.

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.

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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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.

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

 

By Dr. Rion Berg
January 27, 2016
Category: diabetes

The idea for a "smart mat" all started with Jenn Butler's aunt. She has diabetes which led to foot ulcers and an amputation. As a result he convinced fellow Jackson State University student Chevan Baker to pursue the development of a smart mat. Ultimately they came up with a mat that would detect differences in a patient's foot temperature that could be used at home.

The students learned that foot temperature in diabetic patients tend to be cooler due to nerve damage and circulation problems. This led to their understanding that a four-degree difference between feet could put the one with the lower temperature at greater risk for foot ulceration.

The mat is by no means ideal. Since it detects differences between the feet, it could mean that potentials cases could be missed if both feet have poor circulation.

As the research to perfect the mat continues, it could potentially help thousands of people with diabetes avoid amputation. As of 2010 about 73,000 lower-limb amputations were performed in adults aged 20 years or older with diagnosed diabetes (American Diabetes Association)

At the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City, we've been performing Comprehensive Diabetics Foot Exams for over 30 years. These exams not only detect temperature differences they include but are not limited to pressure readings, review of the nerve supply, blood supply, skin and nails.

If you have diabetes it's also important to practice self-care and see a Seattle podiatrist or one convenient to you annually.

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.

More information on diabetic feet:

Diabetic Foot Care Guidelines
Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy
Diabetes and Fungal Nails

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 13, 2015
Category: diabetes
Tags: ulcers   diabetic neuropathy  

You have diabetes and your Valentine keeps hounding you to go your endocrinologist and your podiatrist. But you’re too busy hanging out with your buddies and you don’t want anyone telling you that your feet will fall off if you don't take care of them. You figure if you just ignor the pain, burning and numbness it will go away.

Well I'm here to tell you that the symptoms you're experiencing aren't likely to go away. They've probably been developing for a long time and may have preceded your diagnosis of diabetes. These symptoms are a hallmark of diabetic neuropathy and can lead to ulcers and loss of a foot if not treated properly.

As a Seattle podiatrist here are some ways to decrease the chance of your health taking a big step backward because of your condition.

  • Get an annual check-up with your endocrinologist and podiatrist (your podiatrist will conduct a Comprehensive Diabetic Foot Exam or CDFE to see if your condition is stable or progressing)

  • Follow the recommendations for your endocrinologist and dietician to ensure you are keeping your blood sugars stable

  • Wear well-fitting shoes with a wider toe box. Many people with diabetes are also eligible to receive special shoes that prevents blisters and other problems which can lead to ulcers.

  • Do a visual inspection of your feet on a daily basis. Since you can't feel problems as they occur, eyeballing your feet will let you know if you have a cut, blister, or swelling and need to see your podiatrist.

  • Buy Dr. Comfort Diabetic Socks at the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City; these socks promote blood circulation while reducing the moisture and microbial growth that can cause infections.

Your Valentine will likely love you no matter what, but wouldn't it be great to be able to do the things you love together because you can still walk. If you have neuropathy, give a call today at 206-368-7000 or request an appointment online. I've been treating people with diabetes for over 30 years in my clinic and at the Northwest Hospital Wound Care Center.

By Dr. Rion Berg
January 12, 2015
Category: diabetes

Seattle’s “biggest fan” Lorin “Big Lo” Sandretzky was very close to predicting the score of the Seahawks first playoff win against the Panthers. He predicted a 38/12 win over the Carolina Panthers and we now know that we won 31/17. Big Lo may not technically be the biggest sports fan but he certainly was the largest, topping the scales 658 pounds back in 2007. Diagnosed with diabetes his doctor ordered that he lose weight. Even after losing 300 pounds, this lovable fan with a big heart is still suffering from multiple illnesses including a recent foot surgery. Very likely Big Lo also has diabetic neuropathy. 

Although being overweight is a huge contributor to developing Type 2 or adult onset diabetes even thinner people can get diabetes or pre-diabetes depending on other risk factors such as high blood pressure or a family history of diabetes.

At the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City our Seattle podiatrists specialize in treating foot problems that result from diabetes such as diabetic neuropathy and foot ulcers.

If you have diabetic neuropathy which means you are unable to feel your feet normally, it’s vital that you take the following precautions:

  • Check your feet and toes for any changes on a daily basis
  • Wear thick, soft socks without seams – e.g. Smooth Toe Diabetic Socks
  • Exercise to improve circulation and manage your weight.
  • See a podiatrist at least annually to obtain a CDFE (Comprehensive Diabetic Foot Exam). This test will help identify any potential foot problems to prevent ulcers and other dangerous foot complications.
  • As a result of the CDFE, your podiatrist will determine if you need to obtain therapeutic shoes provided through a special Medicare Therapeutic Shoe Program.
  • Other foot problems such as bunions, flat feet, or hammertoes may require orthotics to correct for these conditions to prevent further complications.

If you or a loved one has diabetes, it’s time to start seeing a podiatrist. To set up a appointment, contact our office at 206-368-7000 or request an appointment online.