Podiatrists Share Tips On Good Foot Care For Those With Diabetes
Here is exactly what we asked our panel of experts:
- What tips would you give to someone who is newly diagnosed?
- Why do you think a lot of people ignore their foot care when it comes to diabetes?
Dr. Jennie Chau
A1: Typically, their primary physician will refer a newly diagnosed diabetic pt to a Podiatrist for a first time evaluation. From there, I will perform a thorough lower extremity examination. In office, gait analysis, baseline x-rays are performed, and depending on their examination, additional tests may be entertained such as punch nerve biopsy to evaluate for neuropathy, PAD/CVI studies to evaluate for arterial and venous flow, referral to Endocrinologist, DM educator/nutritionist, neurologist/vascular doctor, even physical therapy. We also offer diabetic therapeutic shoes for our Medicare pts or even custom orthotics with the benefit of providing protection and stability of their feet.
I’ll usually explain to a patient systemic risks of diabetes, the importance of maintaining proper glucose control and diabetic foot care. We’ll cover what fasting blood glucose level and HbA1c percentage is considered normal.
I’ll discuss diabetic foot care including checking feet daily especially before going to sleep (use a floor mirror if they can’t bend down), continue applying lotion to prevent cracks/fissures (as dry skin is common after several yrs of having DM), importance of proper shoe gear. Encourage patient to maintain low Na diet, incorporate exercising. I always tell patients that they can always call if they have any questions and if they experience any redness, warmth, swelling and/or pain unexpectedly of their feet/legs to make an appointment immediately. Lately, I’ve been referring my patients to local supermarkets as they have in house nutritionist to help them evaluate their diet.
A2: Diabetes is a complicated disease. Balancing a low sodium diet, checking sugar levels daily, and incorporating exercises can be difficult at times even financially. For some, it’s frustrating to know that even though they are doing everything right, the numbers don’t add up. Most patients who have Diabetes also have other co-morbidities to manage.
Patients at times think that it’s normal to have pain/numbness/skin and nail changes secondary to diabetes. It’s amazing that patients who have feet problems will see their primary physician first before even considering seeing a Podiatrist. To this day and within certain cultures, even having an amputation of the lower extremity secondary to diabetes is considered normal.
There’s also a misconception that “feet pain will go away eventually.” They’ll typically note that their pain is due to their lifestyle/work but there might be a structural issue with their foot that they don’t realize. I always get the response of “don’t get old,” but patients don’t realize feet/gait change over time.
Besides other factors such as lack of insurance, financial difficulty, lack of transportation, or even having a Podiatrist within the vicinity, there’s also a sense of fear. Fear of what other friends or family members have experienced in the past or just having someone evaluating their feet. I can’t tell you how many times I come into a room and patients are still apprehensive to taking off their socks.
Over 40,000 Patients Have Found Relief For Their Foot Or Ankle Pain With Our 5-Star Rated Podiatrists In Wayne & West Milford, NJ
Wayne & West Milford, NJ: People in need of foot or ankle care in the Wayne and West Milford areas now have improved access to state-of-the-art expertise and technology, thanks to Wayne Foot & Ankle Center. After over 35 combined years of practicing podiatry, Dr. Bruce Calligaro, Dr. Jennie Chau, and Dr. Lindsey Calligaro still love what they do. Now the podiatry team at Wayne Foot & Ankle Center is announcing their availability for new patients who want help with foot or ankle conditions.
“Many people have problems with their feet and don’t even realize it,” says Dr. Bruce Calligaro. “We live in a culture where aches or pain in the feet is accepted as a normal part of life – but it’s not normal at all. If someone is experiencing pain on a regular basis, then they should see a podiatrist before it gets worse.”
The doctors at Wayne Foot & Ankle Center offer advanced treatment options and technology for a wide variety of foot and ankle ailments, including sprains, sports injuries, bunions, corns, calluses, arthritis, fungal infections, diabetic foot care, pediatric foot care, and more.
Of course, even the most advanced treatment can only be effective if its provider cares about a patient’s individual needs. This is where the doctors at Wayne Foot & Ankle Center truly shine. Wayne Foot & Ankle Center has built its reputation around its doctors’ consultative approach to health care. All three doctors listen carefully to their patients’ needs and concerns and take the time to educate patients on all available treatment options, as well as the reasoning behind their recommendations. Each patient’s treatment plan is uniquely personalized, and treatment only begins once a patient or patient’s parents feel 100% confident.
“I say to my patients, ‘You’re the one starting this treatment, not me,’” Dr. Chau explains. “I don’t ever want a patient to start a treatment until they feel it’s the best choice for them.”
Patients who decide to proceed with treatment at Wayne Foot & Ankle Center can also take advantage of their friendly financial options. In addition to keeping costs reasonable, Wayne Foot & Ankle Center also helps patients restore their foot or ankle health by accepting most insurances and working closely with patients to maximize their insurance benefits.
The Wayne Foot & Ankle Center team’s podiatric expertise stems from their extensive education as much as from their 35 combined years of medical experience. The quality, state-of-the-art care that they provide has been recognized most notably by Consumers’ Research, who has named Dr. Bruce Calligaro as one of America’s Top Foot & Ankle Surgeons every year since 2007. Wayne Foot & Ankle Center’s use of laser and diagnostic ultrasound for podiatric use has also been recognized as pioneering in the field.
Patients who are interested in scheduling an appointment with Dr. Bruce Calligaro, Dr. Jennie Chau, or Dr. Lindsey Calligaro can call Wayne Foot & Ankle Center at (973)595-8900 for their Wayne office or (973)506-6150 for their West Milford office, or they can visit www.WayneFoot.com for more information.