Conditions & Symptoms

Diabetic Foot

If you suffer from diabetes mellitus (type 1 or type 2), this means your blood sugar is too high over much of the time. High blood sugar can damage the blood vessels and nerves, starting with the foot. It can result in a loss of feeling in the foot and poor circulation to the foot so that you may not feel it if you developed a sore, cut or blister. This can result in infections of the foot and ulcers. In rare conditions, the damage can be so bad that you require an amputation.

The diabetic foot heals more poorly when compared to normal feet. This is because the circulation is poor to the foot and the nutrients required for healing do not get where they are needed. There is more infection because the white blood cells don’t get to the source of the cut or sore in order to mount an immune response and bacteria take over and the area gets infected. Oxygen, necessary for the running of the cells of the foot is lacking in the diabetic foot so gangrene can set in.

Diabetic Neuropathy

Diabetes can do damage to the nerves, starting with the most distal nerves in the foot. It is related to the nerves being damaged by high blood sugar levels and poor diabetic control. If you suffer from diabetic neuropathy in the feet, it is called peripheral neuropathy. In rare cases, it can affect the hands or arms.

The main symptoms of diabetic peripheral neuropathy include the following:

  • Numbness of the feet which can be a permanent problem
  • Tingling of the feet, starting with the toes
  • Burning of the fee, usually worse in the nighttime
  • Pain in the foot that doesn’t go away with rest

In fact, if you have early symptoms and want to resolve them, you need to get your blood sugar levels in the best of control. There are medications a podiatrist can give to resolve some of the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy.

Diabetic Peripheral Vascular Disease

Diabetics are more likely to have plaques of calcium and cholesterol build up in the large and small blood vessels of the arteries leading to the legs. This means fewer red blood cells with life-giving oxygen reach the tissues at the end of the foot and, when you get a cut or sore, pathogen fighting cells have a harder time reaching the site of the injury. You stand a greater chance of getting an infection and losing the foot to gangrene.

Diabetics can help decrease the chances of having diabetic peripheral vascular disease by keeping the blood sugars in the best of control, eating a low cholesterol diet, and possibly taking prescription medications that lower the blood cholesterol. If there is still blockage of the arteries, surgery may be done to open up the blood vessels to restore circulation to the legs and feet.

Practicing Good Foot Hygiene

Diabetics need to take special care of their feet in order to prevent complications of the diabetic foot. These include the following:

  • You need to wash your feet every day with mild soap and water. Get between the toes and pat the feet dry afterward. Rubbing the feet dry can irritate the skin.
  • Check your feet every day. Use a mirror if you have to in order to locate hard to reach places on the foot. Look between the toes in order to see if any sores have developed.
  • Make sure the feet are kept smooth and soft. This means using some kind of lotion or cream on your feet after washing them.
  • Keep down corns and calluses. Because you are diabetic, you should probably have this done professionally by a podiatrist or podiatrist.
  • Keep your toenails trimmed if you can get down there to trim them. If this is not possible, have a podiatrist trim the nails for you.
  • Wear socks and shoes all the time. This protects your feet from getting cut on anything.
  • Keep blood flow as normal as possible to your feet. This means not crossing your legs and not wearing socks that bind or cut into the skin.
  • Keep your feet out of the hot and cold. They should be protected from the elements at all times.

Other Foot Conditions & Symptoms

Ankle Sprains

Ankle Sprains

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Bunions

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The medical terms for bunions are hallux abducto valgus or just hallux valgus. It is a common foot problem, especially among women. It involves having a large bump on the inner aspect of the foot at the site of the connection between the big toe and the foot itself....

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Cavus Foot

Cavus Foot

Having a cavus foot basically means you are a person with very high arches. Rather than putting pressure on the whole of the foot, the pressure of standing and walking is placed on the ball of the foot and the heel of the foot, leading to instability and pain when...

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Corns and Calluses

Corns and Calluses

Corns and calluses are thickened and hard areas of skin that happen when the skin protects itself against the pressure and friction of shoes or the ground. While they can look ugly, they are not dangerous and can easily be treated if they are painful. If you just...

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Flat Feet

Flat Feet

The medical term for “flat feet” is “pes planus” or sometimes we just call them “fallen arches. You are considered to have flat feet when the arches that give the foot its characteristic shape are flattened so that the whole sole of the foot touches the ground upon...

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Heel Pain

Heel Pain

The heel is designed to take a lot of stress. It is padded with thick skin and fat so you can pound the pavement or do sports activities without pain. If you do these things to excess, however, you can develop various kinds of heel pain. Heel pain can occur from...

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Illiotibial Band Syndrome

Illiotibial Band Syndrome

Iliotibial Band Syndrome is also referred to as ITBS. It is a common overuse injury that runner’s incur by running too much. The syndrome happens when the ligament running from the outer portion of the thigh to the outer aspect of the shin (the iliotibial band)...

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Ingrown Nails

Ingrown Nails

Onychocryptosis is the technical term for an ingrown toenail, this is an often painful condition in which the nail grows so that it cuts into one or both sides of the nail bed. This condition has been found only in shoe-wearing cultures and does not occur in...

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Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown Toenails

The medical term for ingrown toenail is onychocryptosis. Ingrown toenails usually affect the great toe. Usually only one toe is affected but some people can have ingrown toenails on both feet. They are most common in athletes who scuff up their toes often and often...

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Knee Pain

Knee Pain

The knee joint takes a great deal of your weight when you are walking so it is especially prone to becoming painful or being injured. You can suffer from acute knee pain because of a car accident, a fall, or a sports injury. You can also suffer from chronic knee pain...

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Metatarsalgia

Metatarsalgia

Metatarsalgia is the general medical term for having inflammation and pain in the ball of the foot. It isn’t a disease in and of itself but is a symptom of other problems going on with the foot. The main cause of metatarsalgia is overuse of the foot. It is seen often...

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Morton’s Neuromas

Morton’s Neuromas

A Morton’s neuroma stems from having excess pressure on the nerves of your foot, usually from wearing shoes that are too tight. It is actually a small ball of nerve bundles that have formed a benign tumor on the ball of the foot, usually located in the web space...

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Pigeon Toe Gait

Pigeon Toe Gait

A pigeon toe gait goes by many different medical names including intoeing, metatarsus adductus, metatarsus varus, and false club foot. These are all just fancy terms to describe a person who has toes that point toward the inside of the foot when they walk. Many...

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Scoliosis

Scoliosis

Scoliosis usually means you have curvature of the spine that goes in a lateral direction. The curvature is usually in the thoracic and lumbar spine and can lead to chronic back pain, an obvious deformity of the spine, and an abnormal gait. Scoliosis usually happens...

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Shin Splints

Shin Splints

Shin splints are a common name for tibial stress syndrome, which results in pain in the shin bone or tibia of the lower leg. The tibia is the main bone that takes the stress of the lower leg when running or doing sports. Shin splints are especially common in people...

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Verrucas Plantar Warts

Verrucas Plantar Warts

Verruca (or plantar warts) are a contagious, viral, and usually painful wart on the sole of the foot. The Foot Practice sees many patients who are frustrated with the condition, having tried all manner of treatments at other clinics. We are pleased that we have an...

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