If you're a diabetic living in Monmouth County, New Jersey, you're in good company: about 1 in 10 of you battle this debilitating disease. One of the most important things you need to know about diabetes is this: you absolutely, positively, unequivocally need to visit a podiatrist on a regular basis.
Are we being overly dramatic? Quite simply, no. Dr. Samantha Boyd, Dr. Hal Ornstein, Dr. Joseph Saka, and Dr. Katy Statler, the podiatrists at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Center, can't emphasize enough that you need to keep us high on your list of doctors who treat your diabetes.
Uncontrolled diabetes has a major impact on your foot's nerves and blood supply. Even when you are doing a good job of controlling your blood sugar, issues like loss of feeling and lack of circulation can still crop up, leaving you vulnerable to sores that don't heal and infections that can quickly lead to amputation.
Be on top of your disease by making - and keeping - appointments with us at our office in Howell. Here are some of the important questions you should be asking us, and some helpful answers to think about in between visits:
- How should I clean my feet? No special equipment required - soap and water is fine. But it’s important to clean them daily. Dry them thoroughly, especially between the toes, to discourage moisture-loving fungus. Moisturize them to keep the skin supple.
- What kind of changes should I be looking out for? Visual clues include cracked heels, a cut or scrape that’s getting red and swollen, discolored toenails. Changes in feeling are also important to note. When your touch your foot in different places, can you feel it? Have you lost your sensitivity to hot and cold?
- How should I treat a corn or a callus? Even though there are a number of at-home treatments to soften the tough skin of corns and calluses, don’t mess with them. The safest course of action for a diabetic is to see a podiatrist.
- Am I wearing the right shoes? Maybe. Ask us about our diabetic shoe program.
- What should I do if I injure my foot? Make an appointment with us right away. Injuries that seem minor can quickly develop into major problems.
- What can I do to prevent problems? Keep your blood sugar under control; perform daily foot checks; exercise; be vigilant about eating a healthy diet. Visit us regularly. And don’t delay seeking treatment for any foot concern whatsoever. Call us at the first sign of trouble at (732) 905-1110.