American Diabetes Month (November) raises awareness of a disease that affects 34 million of our citizens. Even those who live with diabetes struggle with the staggering amount of information to know and understand. For patients and friends of Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland, we’re offering this list of words associated with diabetes and diabetic foot care.
Words to know if you are a diabetic:
- Amputation. It’s first on the list because it begins with “a,” but amputation is always a doctor’s last resort. With diabetes, foot infections can be hard to control and may lead to toe or foot amputation if not treated quickly.
- Bunions and calluses are examples of common foot conditions diabetics should never treat at home. Because of the risk of infection, it is best to let our podiatrists help you with troublesome skin lesions and toe deformities.
- Charcot foot. In this progressive disease caused by arthritis or neuropathy, the foot bones become weak, deformed, and break easily.
- Diabetic footwear refers to shoes specially designed to relieve pressure and accommodate foot deformities.
- Fungal toenail infections are more common when you have diabetes.
- Neuropathy is nerve damage caused by high blood sugar. It causes a loss of feeling in the feet.
- Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is the narrowing of the small blood vessels that reduces blood flow to the feet.
- Ulcer. Another name for a wound that won’t heal, often due to PAD.
Many people with diabetes will experience foot problems at some point in their life. So it’s incredibly important to recognize the signs of diabetes-related foot issues like the ones described here. We especially encourage you to take foot wounds seriously. Treat them before they become a threat to your limbs (see “amputation,” above).
If you have diabetes and live in Portage, Geauga, Cuyahoga, or Summit County, we’re close by and ready to take care of your feet at our state-of-the-art office in Solon, Ohio. Visit us at least once per year and more often if issues arise before your annual appointment. To make an appointment with qualified podiatrists Dr. Craig B. Frey and Dr. Megan L. Oltmann, call (440) 903-1041 or visit us online.