Diabetic foot management is 100% the most proven way to avoid hospitalization, infection and even amputation as a diabetic.
you should visit your podiatrist at least once per year to have diabetic foot exam. We admit the vast majority of the time this should be an unremarkable exam, where you ask yourself why did I even come in here? And if that’s all that’s happening you are doing excellent job.
On the other hand, our clinic is filled with patients who don’t think anything is wrong, that they simply have a callous that is turning dark, that they simply are developing thick toenails. And they are absolutely shocked to learn that as we trim these down there is blood pouring out of these, with a large wound, with dry blood trapped underneath these.
Nobody actually knows that they have a huge ulcer that is obviously infected, what usually happens is a callous starts turning red, and people shop to the hospital not thinking anything is wrong. At that point it may be too late! We personally see this over 10 times a week at the hospitals we cover. Most people are always shocked that something like this could happen to them, they thought something was hurting more and more but they always put it off until seeing a podiatrist.
So, don’t use this as an excuse! This is a covered medical benefit, and it is proven over and over to be beneficial and even cost-effective for you to go see a podiatrist.
Improve your diabetes is much as possible: work with your primary care doctor in your podiatrist to keep a close eye on your blood sugar and keep it in the target range. If your blood sugar is well-controlled, it’s almost like you don’t even have diabetes!
be as healthy as possible: talk to your podiatrist and your primary care doctor about how to exercise. Sometimes we have a foot problem it doesn’t make sense to go on walks or runs. But things like water aerobics and riding a stationary bike make a lot of sense for you. These types of exercise can even burn more calories than simply going for a walk which barely burns Annie.
Look into your insurance and Medicare plan: most versions of Medicare plans do cover special diabetic shoes. There are some criteria that you have to qualify for, but your podiatrist can work with you in making these available.
Wash your feet daily: be careful to look between your toes, I can build up a lot of crust and dry skin here. This is a common site for infection to develop.
Keep your skin moisturized: this is especially important after taking a bath and going to bed at night. The biggest mistake you can make is buying something expensive. Don’t do that even something like petroleum jelly or Vaseline can be a couple dollars for a gigantic tub, applying this daily will solve the vast majority of your skin issues.
Maintain your toenails and calluses: this is something your podiatrist can do for you, this is not cosmetic! This the biggest mistake people make. There have been thousands of times where I see the patient in the hospital, and they said they were not ready or felt guilty getting their nails checked. Don’t let this happen to you, don’t let yourself have a large infection because you are embarrassed or are worried about some type of coverage issue. If you are having a medical problem any insurance would be glad to have you get it taken care of outside the hospital!
Wear good shoes and socks: Don’t fall for the “peripheral neuropathy” trap where people think that purple neuropathy is causing your foot pain. Peripheral neuropathy generally makes your foot numb, but then your foot throbs at night because you did damage to it without feeling. Don’t fall for the pharmaceutical marketing gimmicks where you feel you need some nerve numbing medication. This is not a disease that you can’t do anything about, you can do something about your foot pain and your numbness. Almost every patient you have that wears good shoes, good inserts and good socks has much less pain at night if not completely resolved that nighttime pain.
Watch out for hot and cold: with diabetes, your foot can have a harder time telling hot from cold. This means if you stepped on something really cold or something hot you could be doing damage to your foot. Just be aware, especially when it’s icy outside that your floor may be called and this is why your toes are turning purple or red. Also when you’re filling up a tub, make sure that the water is not too hot. Use the elbow rule, if you can touch it with your elbow that is the true temperature.
See your podiatrist today: it has been proven over and over, a podiatrist is the foot specialist that is best suited to look after your feet. If you have diabetes, it has been proven that the cost savings and the overall improvements are amazing with even one to two trips. So don’t keep holding off and end up in the hospital, it’s covered by insurance what have you got to lose except for a few moments of your time.
Don’t wait until we see you in the hospital: