Diabetes is a chronic disease that can lead to many foot problems. High blood sugar levels can damage nerves and blood vessels critical for sensation and circulation.
Diabetes does not always end in serious complications. Diabetics can maintain good foot health with the help of a foot doctor or a podiatrist. A podiatrist is experienced in diabetic foot care and can do yearly exams for individuals with diabetes.
Find out why a diabetic foot exam is necessary and where you can go in Columbia, MD for high-quality diabetic foot care.
Why Should You Get a Diabetic Foot Exam?
There are several benefits that individuals with diabetes can get from regular foot exams:
1. To Catch Problems Early
An exam allows the foot doctor to find issues such as nerve damage and poor circulation and provide early intervention.
2. To Prevent Diabetic Foot Ulcers and Infections
Regular exams can identify areas of pressure or friction on the feet that may cause ulcers to develop.
3. For Personalized Advice on Footwear
The podiatrist can also provide personalized advice on footwear and fit the patient for diabetic shoes or custom orthotics.
4. To Monitor Nerve Function
Exams can help track and reduce nerve damage, which leads to loss of sensation and intense foot problems.
5. To Help Improve Blood Flow
Foot exams can detect circulation problems early and prompt interventions to improve blood flow in the feet.
6. To Reduce the Risk of Amputation
Diabetic foot ulcers are a leading cause of amputation. Regular exams can prevent severe foot complications that may lead to amputation.
7. For Greater Peace of Mind
Knowing that your feet are in good hands can give you peace of mind about your health.
What Is Involved in a Foot Exam?
A podiatrist can play an important role in promoting foot health and preventing complications. Diabetics are encouraged to undergo a foot exam at least once a year.
A foot exam is usually simple and comfortable for the patient. During an exam, the doctor may do the following:
- Check the skin and nails for issues such as thickening
- Evaluate foot deformities such as bunions, which can lead to friction
- Examine the pulses in the feet to determine the quality of circulation
- Assess nerve function by evaluating temperature sensation and reflexes in the feet
- Test the patient’s vibration sense
Your podiatrist will encourage you to take better care of your feet. They can also work with your primary care provider to coordinate your diabetic foot care.
What Treatments Can a Foot Doctor Offer to Diabetics?
Treatments are usually individualized to the patient. A podiatrist can do the following:
- Proper nail and skin care to prevent infections
- Advanced wound care techniques with the use of biologic dressings
- Diabetic shoes and inserts to help reduce pressure points and prevent foot injuries
- Offloading devices that can help redistribute pressure away from the areas of your feet
- Foot surgery to remove dead tissue and realign bones
Top Diabetic Foot Doctors in Columbia, MD
Dr. Marc Lipton and Dr. Hayden Hoffler are our board-certified podiatrists at Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland. They have decades of experience helping people with diabetes take care of their feet. Our podiatrists are committed to preventing serious foot complications and treat patients with respect and compassion.
To schedule an appointment, use our online request form or call us today at (410) 644-1880. We see patients in our Columbia, Catonsville, and Eldersburg offices. Our friendly staff looks forward to serving you.