5 Questions Diabetic Patients Should Ask Their Podiatrist at Their Next Appointment

Doctor shaking hands to patient in the office

Diabetes is a serious health condition that should always be discussed and managed with your attending physician. For some people, a podiatrist isn’t someone they think they should make aware of this condition—but they should.

Believe it or not, diabetes doesn’t just wreak havoc on your heart, eyes and kidneys, among other organs; they affect your feet and if left unchecked, can ultimately result in your lower extremities being amputated. In fact, your feet are greatly impacted by diabetes and a podiatrist should be among your list of physicians that you regularly see to treat your condition.

If you’ve scheduled an appointment with a podiatrist to discuss your foot health, here is a list of things you things you should talk about during your appointment:

  1. The Types of Shoes You Should Wear: Diabetics need different footwear than the average person—and some may even need custom footwear. While your podiatrist will guide you in the right direction on the best footwear for you, he or she will likely advise you to stay away from open-toe sandals, flip flops, and shoes that don’t provide adequate support or even weight distribution.
  1. Changes in Feeling in Your Feet: Many diabetics lose feeling in their feet or experience numbness and tingling, which is associated with a condition called neuropathy. Due to the loss of sensation in their feet, diabetics often leave cuts, scrapes and other injuries untreated, which could turn into diabetic wounds and ulcers. If these diabetic wounds or ulcers also go untreated, amputation may be necessary, as the tissue in the foot become too necrotic and can literally begin to fester or rot.
  2. Injuries: A common side effect of diabetes is the inability to heal from otherwise simple injuries or wounds. This combined with the loss of feeling can create huge health problems for diabetics, like diabetic wounds and ulcers.
  1. Calluses & Corns: For those without diabetes, treating corns and calluses can be somewhat simple. But for diabetics, treating corns and calluses is best left to the professionals.  A minor cut while trying to scrape or file a callus or corn could result in injuries that could become serious.
  1. Skin Changes: Dry, cracked skin of the feet is a common side effect of diabetes. The cracked, peeling skin could result in open sores that won’t heal. Be sure to talk about this during to your appointment so your podiatrist can go over the best skin care treatment options for you.

 

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