Items filtered by date: January 2016

Thursday, 28 January 2016 08:55

How to Care for Diabetic Foot

Millions of people are affected by diabetes each year. Diabetes damages blood vessels in all parts of the body, especially the feet. The legs and feet may develop slow blood flow, which causes neuropathy, or nerve damage. Once a diabetic patient develops neuropathy, it is important that the feet are well taken care of. Otherwise, the lower limbs may have to be amputated. This only happens in drastic cases, but it shows how seriously diabetic foot care should be taken.

It is very important to always wash and dry the feet thoroughly, especially in between the toes, if you’re a diabetic. Secondly, examining your feet and toes for redness or sores must be done, even if you do not feel pain.  You may also want to examine your feet from the bottom. Try to avoid wearing colored socks to prevent infections that may occur from the dye. Well-fitting socks are also highly recommended.

A diabetic’s physician should always monitor their blood levels to test how well blood sugars are being maintained. In addition to giving advice about everyday eating habits and foot care, a physician may prescribe medicine to help with the diabetic patient’s neuropathy. It is also advised to see a podiatrist if experiencing any feet conditions. Toenails may also need to be taken care of by a podiatrist. This prevents patients from cutting too deeply around their cuticles, which can lead to infection.

A person can take care of their feet at home by following the instructions of their physician. Using creams on one’s feet is also an effective way to heal dryness. Proceed with caution when using tools to remove calluses, as severe diabetics may not be able to feel pain on their feet. If any complications arise do not hesitate to contact a podiatrist.

On a daily basis, diabetic feet must be checked. If you are ever concerned about something, contact your health care professional. You never want to wait until a wound becomes too severe to treat. If left untreated, gangrene may develop. Gangrene is a serious infection that can lead to sepsis or amputation. It is also important for diabetics to be on the lookout for ulcers. Ulcers are sores that develop from tissue loss on the skin. They can be quite painful and require intensive treatment. Early treatment and everyday inspection are imperative to staying healthy.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016 08:54

Great Foot Care Tips for Diabetics

Diabetics, generally, have a lot of tasks on their daily agenda. In order to stay healthy and control their disease they go through routines that include monitoring blood sugar levels, eating a balanced diet, exercising, and sticking to a medication plan. Besides all of that, there is another critical thing they must do: pay attention to their feet.

The undeniable importance of diabetic foot care stems from the effects the disease can have on the body. Nerve damage caused by increased blood sugar levels can result in a loss of feeling in the feet. When dealing with another affect of poor circulation, a dangerous combination is formed. Cuts and blisters that would normally be noticed, can then go unfelt. If left untreated, an infection can set in due to the lack of blood flow and ability to properly heal.
Refraining taking the necessary steps to actively care for your feet, what may start as a minor issue can develop into a seriously situation, one that may lead to hospitalization and a possible an amputation.

Five Essential Foot Care Tips

Check Feet on a Daily Basis: This may seem simple, but it requires a certain level of dedication and diligence. Diabetics should inspect their feet for things like corns, infected toenails, areas of redness, and calluses. Through this self-assessment, early diagnosis is possible and further complications can be prevented.

Don’t Go Bare foot: Protect your feet from potential injuries such as cuts and burns by wearing shoes and socks. On the same note, shoes should be supportive, cushioned, and fit properly.

Encourage Blood Flow: Each day, those with diabetes should move their toes and ankles around to aid in proper circulation. They should also walk and stand whenever possible. Sitting with crossed legs should be avoided, and smoking cigarettes should be stopped, as it can diminish blood flow.

Maintain Properly Groomed Feet: To lessen the risk of infection, feet should be cleaned and dried daily. Afterwards, toenails should be trimmed and cut straight across.

Avoid Extremes: Since nerve damage can cause numbness in the feet, extreme temperatures may not be noticeable. Precaution in this area first involves checking water temperature, with the elbow, before putting feet in hot or cold water. Feet should also be kept warm with socks during the night or in cold weather.

Keeping Diabetic Feet Happy & Healthy

All of these tips work together to make sure diabetics stay on the top of their game when it comes to caring for their feet. Knowing what the positive impact proper foot care can have on health, regular checkups with a podiatrist are recommended and immediate medical attention should be sought if concerning issues like a cut occurs.

At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center, we offer the highest level of medical knowledge and skill that diabetic patients need. From treatments and exams, to footwear selection assistance and care instruction, our goal is to help ensure feet stay happy and healthy for a lifetime. If you are diabetic and would like to remain on the right track with your foot health, contact our office in Long Beach today.

Taking on Your Very First Marathon

The New Year offers the ideal opportunity for making a fresh start, for making changes, and for keeping resolutions and accomplishing set goals. If training for that very first marathon makes your list this year, maintaining proper foot health will definitely need to be a part of the equation. From keeping those feet supported to factors of pace and speed, there are quite a few things to consider and plan for when taking on the good old 26.2 mile stretch. Here’s a few useful training tips that can hopefully help you along the way to crossing that finish line:

Start Slowly

It’s easy to get fired up about the thrilling goal that lies before you, but starting slowly and then gradually building up to the desired mileage can prevent you from burning out or straining your body.

Develop a Plan

Forming a weekly training plan can help you build the stamina and strength you need to complete the marathon. An example of such a plan includes days of rest, shorter distance runs, and long-distance runs that extend over the course of approximately 3 or 4 months. Also, running a half-marathon about a month or two into the plan can test your fitness level.

Don’t Forget About Your Feet

Shoes that are ill-fitting are never a good idea, but when training for a marathon it’s especially important that they provide enough support and fit properly. Additionally, make sure that your running shoes aren’t too worn out and that you choose a quality, fairly lightweight pair that has been worn and tried out sufficiently prior to the big day.

Remember to Stay Fueled 

Runners needs to pay careful attention to keeping themselves hydrated and avoiding carbohydrate depletion in order to stay energized and maintain their pace. Tips for keeping your body fueled include eating and drinking before, during, and after a run. Before a run, make sure you drink about 8 ounces of water and eat healthy snack that are high in carbohydrates but low in fat at least 1 hour beforehand. During the run, drink sports drinks or water and eat small snacks like chews and bars every 20 or 30 minutes. And after the run, don’t forget to stay fueled with healthy choices once you have finished running and your body has recovered from the physical exercise.

Don’t Stress

Stress can be detrimental to health and happiness in many different situations. When training, try to avoid as much of life’s stresses as possible, including the any amount of undue pressure you may place on yourself during the run.

Winning the Race for Happy Feet

Training for that first marathon is in itself, a big accomplishment…so congrats! Keep in mind the fact that runners and athletes rely on healthy feet to train and participate in the big race, but are also prone to various foot problems due to all the use and wear and tear they experience. If you’ve made it one of your resolutions for the New Year and need help in making sure your feet are prepared for tackling the course ahead, get in touch with us at Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center in Long Beach.

Wednesday, 06 January 2016 08:49

Gout: Its Causes and Treatments

How to Identify and Treat Gout

For many people, a life full of “extremes” is a highly enjoyable one. Just ask the lovers of extreme sports, foods, or fitness. However, it’s another thing altogether when it comes to the element of extreme pain. Gout, a form of inflammatory arthritis, can be the cause of such intense pain that the result is debilitating. Along with swelling and redness, the excruciating pain often initially occurs in the joint at the base of the big toe, but it can attack other joints as well. This attack can flare-up without warning in the middle of the night, or strike suddenly upon rising out of bed in the morning.

What Causes it?

Unfortunately, gout is hardly an uncommon condition. It affects millions, about 4% of the nation’s adult population, and occurs more often in men ages 40 to 60. Women are also at risk however, and are especially susceptible to developing gout after menopause.

So, what causes the disease? To sum it up, gout is caused by an excess amount of uric acid in the blood. Uric acid is produced when chemicals called purines, which are naturally found in the body and in certain foods, are broken down. In a normal situation, the uric acid would merely be dissolved in the body or passed through into urine. However, when too much is being produced or an insufficient amount is being eliminated by the kidneys, the uric acid then accumulates and crystallizes. These urate crystals are sharp and can cause inflammation and pain as they form in the joint.

Common Risk Factors

The tendency to develop gout can be linked to several different factors. One example being that the painful disease may occur due to genetics and a family history. Diet can also play a big part in gout flare-ups. Consuming certain foods and drinks that contain high levels of purines, like red meat, shellfish, and alcohol can lead to the formation of urate crystals. Other possible contributors to gout include:

  • Obesity
  • Certain medications like diuretics and aspirin
  • Age & gender
  • Other health issues such as diabetes and high-blood pressure
  • Chemotherapy
  • Trauma or recent surgery

Treatment

While it’s true that the symptoms of gout can be extremely painful, the good news is that it is a treatable and controllable condition. While many attacks of gout last about 10 days before disappearing, it’s important to seek treatment early on so that uric acid levels can be monitored and steps can be taken to prevent the disorder from worsening.

After examining the affected joint, a podiatrist or doctor typically runs a few tests to make sure that uric acid/urate crystals are the cause of the symptoms and then proceed with different treatment steps.

Most often, medications are prescribed to alleviate the pain associated with this type of arthritis, and to reduce possible gout complications like kidney stones. Lifestyle changes and other methods may also prevent painful gout flare-ups or the condition occurring in the first place. These can include:

  • Avoiding alcohol
  • Limiting meat and fish consumption
  • Keeping hydrated with water and other fluids
  • Elevation to relieve inflammation
  • Maintaining a healthy weight

Treatment and preventative measures really are key, because otherwise, gout may result in the inability to wear shoes and socks because of the inflammation and soreness, or reoccurring attacks of burning pain and even joint damage.

Gout Pain Relief With Superior Care

The truth is that gout is no laughing matter. Instead, it’s the source of one extreme that better left off of life’s to-do list; pain. If you are experiencing attacks of gout, or another type of foot problem, request an appointment with Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center in Los Angeles today. Together, our team of experienced foot doctors and staff strive to help each patient achieve feet that are both healthy and happy, to the extreme.

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