You’ve probably heard the horror stories of what can happen to a diabetic’s feet. And too many of us know a relative or friend who has had a toe or even a foot amputated due to the effects of diabetes. Today Dr. Joel Segalman, Dr. Stephen Lazaroff, and Dr. Brittany Ciaramello at Performance Foot & Ankle Specialists, LLC in New Haven County and Fairfield County are sharing information regarding why you need a podiatrist on your diabetic care team.
As podiatrists, we see firsthand the harm diabetes can do to a patient's feet. But if a diabetic has regular visits with a podiatrist, these harmful effects are often much less severe and usually completely avoidable.
Preventive care for patients with diabetes should be conducted regularly. The podiatrist will conduct comprehensive foot exams, including several evaluations. We will monitor and record your blood glucose level, your hemoglobin A1C, and conduct a neurological foot evaluation.
During a neurological foot assessment, the podiatrist will conduct several tests. One of those is a commonly used monofilament test, during which a small piece of nylon thread is put on the foot to test if the patient is experiencing any loss of feeling. If there is a lack of sensation, further testing will be recommended to determine if the patient is suffering from a condition known as diabetic neuropathy.
The next part of the exam is a footwear appraisal, during which the podiatrist will examine the patient’s shoes for signs of wear and determine if the shoes are sufficiently protecting the patient’s feet. When the shoes are inadequate, the podiatrist will typically recommend diabetic shoes, fitted, and ordered through the podiatrist’s office.
The podiatrist then examines the nail and skin health, looking for any possible ulcers that could lead to dangerous infections or wounds. They’re also looking at both the toenails and skin for conditions such as athlete’s foot or toenail fungus, which can be a sign of general overall body health.
These regular exams are crucial for a person with diabetes who wants to lead a healthy and happy life. If you or a loved one has diabetes, contact the office of Dr. Joel Segalman, Dr. Stephen Lazaroff, and Dr. Brittany Ciaramello at Performance Foot & Ankle Specialists, LLC in New Haven County and Fairfield County to schedule a consultation. You can reach our Waterbury office at (203) 755-0489 or our Newtown office at (203) 270-6724.