Diabetic Shoes for Fashion-Forward Folks: Ugly, Expensive Footwear Be Gone!

Arthritic Foot Care: Is it Time to Ask the Doc about Joint Injections?Did you know that diabetic shoes don’t have to be ugly and expensive? There are actually a surprising number of attractive, diabetic shoes to choose from nowadays and the majority of them are covered by Medicare, Medicaid and other insurance. There’s just one twist to contend with. Many insurance companies won’t cover the cost of diabetic shoes unless they were ordered by a licensed podiatrist and purchased through a durable medical equipment company. In some cases, the footwear must meet certain guidelines and be professionally fitted too.

So, which diabetic shoes do podiatrists order for their patients? It largely depends on the condition of the patient’s feet and how they live their lives. However, the majority of diabetic footwear has what’s known as extra depth. The extra depth is there to cushion the feet, thereby preventing pressure ulcers. Most of the shoes also feature wide widths, Velcro closures, removable orthotics, custom inserts and smooth surfaces to help relieve pressure on all areas of the person’s feet. The diabetic shoes may be worn with therapeutic stockings or socks designed to improve circulation and reduce incidents of pitting edema, both of which are common symptoms in diabetic populations.

As far as the styles go, don’t expect podiatrists to order their patients pairs of stiletto heels or cheap flip-flops. Dress shoes are available but they generally take the form of flats or boots with thick soles. Modified wedge shoes, sneakers, running shoes and other sporty footwear are available. In some instances, it may be possible to purchase modified sandals. The modified sandals are typically attached to the feet using Velcro closures. The toe areas are open and you won’t find Y-shaped toe straps on any of them. Why? The Y-shaped straps have a tendency to cut into the toe and cause pressure ulcers or chafing. To learn more about diabetic shoes and find the right pairs for your feet, please speak with a Farmington podiatrist.


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Diabetic Foot Care Tips

Diabetic Foot Care TipsDiabetes can cause problems with your feet. Foot disorders are some of the most prevalent and neglected health issues in the United States. Diabetes often reduces blood flow to your feet and this can lead to oxygen deprivation. The results are diabetic nerve damage that causes numbness as well as sores and infections. Several diabetic foot care tips are below.

Daily Inspection: Diabetes may cause numbness in your feet making it hard to detect an infection. You should check your feet closely every day. Look for changes in cracked skin, color or sores. Put a mirror on the floor to see the bottom of each foot clearly.

Drying Feet: Make sure you dry your feet thoroughly after bathing. The space between the toes is vulnerable to infection if it remains moist. When you use lotion avoid putting it between your toes.
See a Doctor: A podiatrist specializes in foot care and can treat your foot woes properly. A podiatrist can diagnose, treat and help you prevent problems.

Orthotics: Orthotic footwear can provide protection and comfort. You can buy special shoes that are for people with diabetes. A podiatrist can give you advice about where you can get the shoes. Medicaid covers one pair of custom-molded diabetic shoes.

Blood Sugar: An out-of-control blood sugar level can lead to nerve cell damage and make it hard for you to fight an infection. If you control your blood glucose level you may prevent or delay damage.

The main diabetic foot care tips are to monitor your blood sugar level, inspect your feet every day, watch your weight and wear comfortable shoes. If you notice any changes that concern you, then it is a good idea to see your doctor immediately.


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Foot Ulcers May Create Problems for More Than Just Diabetics

Foot-UlcersWhen many people think of foot ulcers, thoughts of uncontrolled diabetes often come to mind. Although there is a strong connection between diabetes and foot ulcer formation, it is not the only health condition associated with such problems. That’s partially because there are more than one type of foot ulcer.

The ones that typically befall diabetic foot care patients are known as neurotrophic ulcers. They are called that because they often form due to nerve damage. The nerve damage causes the feet to become desensitized, which in turn allow everyday lacerations and puncture wounds to enlarge and become grossly infected.

For diabetics, their nerve damage is caused by chronic, elevated blood sugar levels. However, there are additional medical conditions that are affiliated with nerve damage. They include, but are not confined to traumatic spinal injuries, syphilitic myelopathy, transverse myelitis and certain forms of spina bifida.

The other two types of foot ulcers that St. Peters podiatrists often treat at their podiatry offices are arterial and venous stasis ulcers. Both are associated with an interruption in blood supply. The first one concerns itself with arterial blood flow and the second one is affiliated with the blood that courses through a human’s veins.

Diabetics are prone to have circulation problems too, hence why they often end up with venous stasis and arterial foot ulcers as well. The list of additional comorbidities that may lead to such foot ulcers includes, but is not limited to the following:

  • Lymphedema and Inflammatory Diseases
  • Peripheral Arterial Occlusive Disease
  • Renal Disease and Kidney Failure
  • Hypertension and Heart Disease
  • Chronic Venous Insufficiency
  • Unresolved Varicose Veins
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis

Thankfully, whether podiatrists in St. Peters, MO specialize in diabetic foot care or not, they are capable of treating all three types of foot ulcers. To learn more about those various treatments and how to reduce one’s risk of developing foot ulcers in the first place, please contact a podiatrist today.

Diabetic Shoes to Kick Diabetic Foot Problems to the Curb

Foot-Prints-digitalartThe human foot really gets quite a bad rap to be honest. Not only do they take a punishment on a day-to-day basis just by bearing literally all of our weight while we run around from place to place, but they’re also sort of dismissed as being just plain ugly in most cases. With this in mind, it can be hard to remember how important to us they really are.

People living with diabetes need to be especially cognizant of how to properly take care of their feet. This is done in an effort to avoid foot ulcers and the more debilitating effects of neuropathy, a serious diabetic health complication. One of the best ways to do this is to purchase specially made diabetic shoes. The following is a brief synopsis of the important benefits of diabetic shoes:

  • Best Circulation – Improper fitting shoes can be one of the worst culprits of poor circulation, which can lead to severe problems for people with diabetes. Diabetic shoes are specially designed for a perfect fit. They will allow more air in for better breathability in your feet. Better support, more cushioning, and improved durability are some of the other benefits that will all lead to the best circulation your feet can get.
  • Foot Ulcer Prevention – Harsh callouses and foot ulcers can occur in shoes that aren’t fitting properly. If one of these nasty little nuisances becomes infected the health ramifications can be very troubling. Wearing high quality diabetic shoes will prevent an ulcer from forming in the first place, and if one already exists they will prevent it from constantly rubbing and getting worse and more painful.
  • Unknown Injuries – Because the feet of people with diabetes can become numb, they can often sustain a foot injury without even knowing it. Exercising your feet just in daily activities can cause complications of an unknown injury to become magnified, which can lead to highly problematic circumstances.

The bottom line is that if you or someone you know is living with diabetes, make sure they have all the weapons in their fight against this ruthless disease. Encourage them to purchase a good pair of diabetic shoes. In a lot of cases, health insurance will even “foot” the bill. Call your local St. Peters podiatrist to see if they offer diabetic shoes .


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New Promising Treatment for Diabetic Foot Ulcers

Diabetic Foot CareDiabetic foot care is of extreme importance to those managing diabetes. Foot ulcers are a source of sometimes intolerable pain and long-standing medical problems for people living with the disease. If not properly treated, diabetic foot complications can lead to amputation and an obviously drastic change in associated lifestyle. There is, however, hope on the horizon for anyone dealing with such an issue in the form of an emerging alternative therapy.

A recent study conducted by the “Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery” cited that Hyperbaric Oxygen (HBO) therapy may have significant benefits in treating foot ulcers and ultimately reducing the number of associated amputations involved with them.

The study simply involved 100 subjects, plenty sufficient, with diabetic foot ulcers and compared HBO therapy with the application of standard therapy. The results of the patients receiving standard therapy were that 48 percent of them needed distal amputation and 34 percent of them required proximal amputation. The patients receiving HBO therapy, however, only included 8 percent receiving distal amputation with ZERO patients requiring proximal amputation.

”The benefits of HBO therapy accrue over time, in part due to savings from averted major amputations. The cost of a series of HBO treatments is less than the cost of a major amputation if HBO is, in fact, limb-saving.” (Dr. Caroline Fife, Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston)

Dr. Fife goes on to note that the selection of patients for the time being at least, should be restricted to those that would not have properly healed with the treatment of traditional therapy alone. Nor should HBO be used for patients with severe vascular disease because they will not respond properly to the treatment.

Although not perfect, HBO is a new therapy that shows some promise for those dealing with diabetic foot ulcers. If nothing else, the reduced number of amputations involved is a tremendous benefit that deems HBO suitable for further exploration from the everybody involved with the treatment of this common problem.


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Good Podiatric Care for Elderly Patients

Professional Foot Care for SeniorsIf you think about how many miles we put on our feet in a lifetime it is no wonder foot problems so often emerge as we age. It is helpful for everyone to have basic knowledge of podiatric care for elderly people.

Caregivers of older adults need to be mindful of good foot care and make it a priority as part of daily routine. Even seniors who are otherwise able to care for themselves often need some help in this area, just because of the difficulty of seeing and reaching their feet. Some simple care pays huge dividends as good podiatric care helps the elderly remain comfortable and mobile.

The basics for caregivers:

  • Caregivers need to be particularly attentive because even slight sensory losses over the years can make people less aware of problems with their own feet. When these problems are noticed as they emerge they are easily addressed. Knowing what to look for, and taking the time to check will help catch these problems early on.

  • Care is relatively simple. It starts with simple observation – be sure to check feet at every cleaning for any changes. Keep an eye out for circulatory problems, ingrown toenails, ulcers, fungal conditions, or other irregularities. Be especially mindful of podiatric conditions for diabetic people as these can progress rapidly and become serious if untreated.

  • Be sure to help keep the feet clean, dry, and warm. Clean with a mild soap, dry thoroughly and gently, and use lotion as needed to help skin remain healthy. Cut nails straight across, being careful not to curve back at the edges which would allow the nail to get under the skin.

Smart daily practices:

  • Once feet are clean and dry, encourage the use of clean cotton socks and properly fitted shoes. This will help prevent spurs, calluses, corns, and even fungal infections.

  • Maintaining good circulation in the feet and legs can be a special challenge, especially for diabetic patients. Keeping the feet elevated while sitting for any length of time is helpful, so make sure a footstool is available at each favorite seat. Also, discourage crossing the legs, which impedes circulation.

If you have any concerns or questions about foot care, please contact your Missouri podiatrist for sound advice.


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Less Than 10% of US Hispanics With Diabetes Have Seen A Podiatrist

Diabetic Foot CareNearly 90% of US Hispanics with diabetes or at risk for the condition have not seen a podiatrist, according to a study by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) about diabetic foot care. The findings are disturbing given that Hispanics are at higher risk for diabetes, and would be expected to benefit from the important role that podiatry plays in managing the disease.

APMA focused its annual national survey on US Hispanic adults to assess health care, diabetes and foot health issues. Twelve percent of Hispanics suffer from diabetes compared to 8% of the general population, and they face a 66% increased risk of developing diabetes compared to other ethnicities.

Expense is the most significant barrier to their seeking proper diabetic foot care given that US Hispanics are also less likely to have medical insurance. Nearly 75% of those surveyed who were affected by diabetes already knew that foot health is affected by the disease.

In other findings, 80% of all respondents complained of at least one foot ailment. The majority said they used over-the-counter products while 20% reported visiting a podiatrist. Those who had personal experience with a podiatrist were most likely to rate their care as very good or excellent in receiving a clear diagnosis and effective treatment.

The study raises concerns because specialized medical care is vital to assessing risks and managing the effects of diabetes. Missouri podiatrists can often detect early signs of diabetes through foot examinations which have been proven to lower the chances of ulcers and amputations. In fact, APMA reports that foot examinations can reduce amputation rates by as much as 85%. Podiatrists can also educate patients on how to select and use appropriate footwear, and avoid traumatic events such as stubbing a toe which can lead to ulcers.

Diabetes is an important issue for everyone and especially for Hispanics. Contact our Missouri podiatry office to schedule a consultation with the foot doctor, so you can learn how to protect your foot health and your overall wellbeing.


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Study Finds Diabetic Shoes & Inserts Reduce Amputations

Custom Foot OrthoticsA new study from Sweden finds that proper interventions such as diabetic shoes, inserts, podiatry, and regular checkups can reduce the number of amputations by more than 50% in patients with diabetes. These are the findings, and some steps people with diabetes can take to protect their feet.

According to an article from News-Medical.net, researchers at the University of Gothenburg studied more than 114 Swedish patients with diabetes who were considered at risk for developing ulcers. These wounds typically occur when the foot is overloaded, and they may lead to amputation. The study involved three different types of shoes inserts, all of which were found to be effective in reducing pressure and cutting the risk of ulcers by more than 50%.

Overall, the lifetime risk of developing a foot ulcer is close to 25% for people with diabetes. It is recommended that all patients with diabetes have their feet evaluated by a Missouri podiatrist at least once a year. If abnormalities such as bunions or hammertoes are discovered, your foot doctor may recommend more frequent examinations. Self-exams are also important. Checking your feet each day for injuries or abnormalities can help prevent more serious problems. In addition to medical treatments, lifestyle changes such as shoe inserts may be helpful.

If your diabetes is well managed, you may be able to wear conventional shoes. In other cases, your podiatrist may suggest comfort shoes or footwear specifically designed for people with diabetes. These styles are called “depth shoes” because they have extra room built in for inserts that redistribute pressure on the foot to help prevent ulcers. In the most serious cases, custom shoes can also be made to fit a mold of your feet.

Regular foot evaluations by a podiatrist, self-examinations, and proper footwear are an essential part of managing diabetes and reducing the risk of amputations. Contact our Missouri foot clinics for more information about diabetic foot care.

Diabetic Foot Care Can Save Lives

Diabetic Foot CareFor many people, feet are something that’s beneath their notice, so to speak. Unless the cause of an acute problem, they simply aren’t given much thought. Unfortunately, if you or someone you love has diabetes, you can’t afford to ignore these, the least noticed of our physiology. In fact, neglecting foot care in a diabetic can result in wounds, infections, even amputations and death.

The good news, however, is that prevention truly is the best medicine. A few simple precautions, taken regularly, can help to ensure that both you and your feet remain healthy.

  • Check your feet everyday. For the flexibility-challenged among us, this may require using a hand-held mirror. You may even need to draft the help of an assistant. Whatever method you utilize, the important thing is to visualize every square centimeter of both feet, between every toe and behind each heel.
  • Diabetic shoes are a valuable investment. Talk to your Missouri foot doctor about the possibility of Medicare coverage for this specially designed footwear. Before considering these, contemplate the fact that a small wound on a toe can lead to gangrene and an amputation. Suddenly going through the effort and expense of diabetic shoes doesn’t seem quite so extreme. A corollary of this would be to avoid walking barefoot.
  • Notify your healthcare provider of any problems. Cuts, nicks, bruises, discoloration, and ingrown toenails quickly become life-threatening problems.
  • Clean feet are healthy feet. Bacteria like warm, dark, and moist places. Therefore, aim to keep your feet clean, dry, and at as comfortable a temperature as possible. If you can comfortably reach your toes, be sure to keep them well trimmed. If you have any problems or questions, feel free to ask your podiatrist or caregiver. It would be a good idea to have a daily diabetic foot care routine, in which you can incorporate cleaning and inspecting into a habit.
  • Your feet need blood flow too. Put your feet up when at rest, which will also help to decrease any swelling. Wiggle your toes and pump your feet at random intervals throughout the day, particularly when you’ve been sitting for extended periods of time. Also, try to avoid crossing your legs and cutting off circulation.
  • See a podiatrist. This is one of the most powerful preventative interventions for a diabetic’s foot care arsenal. An experienced and knowledgeable podiatrist can be your most trusted ally in the fight for health, from the ground up.

You only get one pair of feet, and they have to last a lifetime. By implementing a few simple strategies on a frequent and regular basis, by, in other words, supporting them, you can ensure that they’ll support you – for life.


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Why Choose Custom Foot Orthotics

Custom Foot OrthoticsHave you been contemplating the purchase of over-the-counter shoe inserts? If so, stop a moment and compare your feet with that of a loved one. There is a 99.9% likelihood that beyond having 10 digits, your feet will vary greatly from one another. That is not only perfectly normal; it’s the chief reason why you shouldn’t act on your original intentions. Instead, you should contact our Missouri podiatry offices and choose custom foot orthotics. Here’s a quick peek at the top advantage you’ll gain by doing so:

As we progress through life, our age and health have a significant impact on our feet. For example, it is not uncommon for the padding on our feet to thin or harden into calluses. We may also develop plantar fasciitis or lose range of motion in our joints. Sometimes, those changes may even indicate the existence of a health problem that we may have not been previously aware of. A good example of this is claw toe, which is sometimes caused by uncontrolled diabetes.

By visiting your Missouri podiatrists and having a custom foot orthotics fitting, you’ll have an opportunity to learn what your feet reveal about your health. Furthermore, your Missouri foot doctor may be able to work with your primary care physician to address any health problems that show up during your podiatry visit. Take our previous example of diabetes related claw toe for instance.

Our Doctors can create a custom foot orthotic to prevent exasperation of the condition as well as periodically monitor your feet for signs of diabetic neuropathy. They can then share their findings with your primary care physician. Your physician could then use the podiatrist’s findings to change your diet, medications and testing schedule. You obviously wouldn’t get that type of comprehensive care by merely buying shoe inserts at the local drug store.

Understandably, there are many other advantages to be gained by obtaining custom foot orthotics. To learn more about those advantages, please contact your local Missouri podiatrists today and arrange for an initial consultation.