Diabetic Foot Care

Q: Why should a diabetic see a foot doctor?
A: A diabetic should see a foot doctor to receive preventive foot care. Diabetics can see a podiatrist to get their nails trimmed, callused shaved, evaluated for blisters, sores or foreign bodies and checked for sensation.

Q: Why do diabetics get numbness on their feet?
A: Numbness of the feet in a diabetic is called diabetic peripheral neuropathy. When a diabetics sugar levels get too high it burns out the nerve ending causing numbness and tingling in the feet and permanent nerve damage.

Q: How do I treat diabetic neuropathy?
A: Diabetic neuropathy is prevented by keeping blood sugars at a normal level on a regular basis. There is no cure for diabetic neuropathy but medication like gabapentin or neurontin can help with burning and tingling in the feet caused by diabetic neuropathy.

Q: Why do diabetics lose their toes?
A: A diabetic can develop an open sore on the toe. This is called an ulceration, the open sore allows bacteria to enter the toe and eat away at the bone causing a bone infection. The cure for a bone infection is 6 weeks of antibiotics or amputation of the toe. Also diabetics with poor circulation get gangrene which means they do not have enough blood flow to the toe and the toe dies and turns black.

Q: How often should a diabetic see a podiatrist or a foot doctor?
A: A diabetic should be seen by a podiatrist or a foot doctor every 2 months to have the feet checked for open sores and ingrown toenails and to have the toenails trimmed and any corns or calluses smoothed down.

Q: What type of shoes should a diabetic wear?
A: A diabetic should wear a shoe with a wider toe box and a memory foam type of insole called plastazote that has plenty of room for any foot deformities, lumps, or bumps on the foot.