Tuesday, 26 October 2021 00:00

How to Care for Diabetic Foot

Millions of people are affected by diabetes each year. Diabetes damages blood vessels in all parts of the body, especially the feet. The legs and feet may develop slow blood flow, which causes neuropathy, or nerve damage. Once a diabetic patient develops neuropathy, it is important that the feet are well taken care of. Otherwise, the lower limbs may have to be amputated. This only happens in drastic cases, but it shows how seriously diabetic foot care should be taken.

It is very important to always wash and dry the feet thoroughly, especially in between the toes, if you’re a diabetic. Secondly, examining your feet and toes for redness or sores must be done, even if you do not feel pain.  You may also want to examine your feet from the bottom. Try to avoid wearing colored socks to prevent infections that may occur from the dye. Well-fitting socks are also highly recommended.

A diabetic’s physician should always monitor their blood levels to test how well blood sugars are being maintained. In addition to giving advice about everyday eating habits and foot care, a physician may prescribe medicine to help with the diabetic patient’s neuropathy. It is also advised to see a podiatrist if experiencing any feet conditions. Toenails may also need to be taken care of by a podiatrist. This prevents patients from cutting too deeply around their cuticles, which can lead to infection.

A person can take care of their feet at home by following the instructions of their physician. Using creams on one’s feet is also an effective way to heal dryness. Proceed with caution when using tools to remove calluses, as severe diabetics may not be able to feel pain on their feet. If any complications arise do not hesitate to contact a podiatrist.

On a daily basis, diabetic feet must be checked. If you are ever concerned about something, contact your health care professional. You never want to wait until a wound becomes too severe to treat. If left untreated, gangrene may develop. Gangrene is a serious infection that can lead to sepsis or amputation. It is also important for diabetics to be on the lookout for ulcers. Ulcers are sores that develop from tissue loss on the skin. They can be quite painful and require intensive treatment. Early treatment and everyday inspection are imperative to staying healthy.

Wednesday, 13 October 2021 00:00

Gout Pain Can Be Managed

Gout is a painful, inflammatory form of arthritis. Those affected will typically feel an intense stiffness in the joints of their feet, particularly in the big toe. Schedule a visit to learn about how gout can be managed and treated.

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a circulatory disease that narrows arteries and restricts blood flow in the extremities. This can cause cramping in the legs when exercising, which usually subsides when you stop. PAD can also cause pain, numbness, swelling, and discoloration in the feet, and can be a prelude to more dangerous complications. One of the tests a podiatrist may use to test the blood flow through arteries and veins is a duplex ultrasound. There are two components to a duplex ultrasound. The first is traditional ultrasound which creates an image by bouncing sound waves off of blood vessels. The second is doppler ultrasound which measures sound waves reflected off of flowing blood to visualize its direction and speed. Duplex ultrasounds are non-invasive. The patient remains still as the podiatrist hovers a wand (transducer) over the area to be tested which sends out sound waves. These sound waves are then reflected back and translated into images. To learn more about PAD and various ways to test for it, please make an appointment with your local podiatrist.

Vascular testing plays an important part in diagnosing disease like peripheral artery disease. If you have symptoms of peripheral artery disease, or diabetes, consult with the podiatrists from Issaquah Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Vascular Testing?

Vascular testing checks for how well blood circulation is in the veins and arteries. This is most often done to determine and treat a patient for peripheral artery disease (PAD), stroke, and aneurysms. Podiatrists utilize vascular testing when a patient has symptoms of PAD or if they believe they might. If a patient has diabetes, a podiatrist may determine a vascular test to be prudent to check for poor blood circulation.

How Is it Conducted?

Most forms of vascular testing are non-invasive. Podiatrists will first conduct a visual inspection for any wounds, discoloration, and any abnormal signs prior to a vascular test.

 The most common tests include:

  • Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI) examination
  • Doppler examination
  • Pedal pulses

These tests are safe, painless, and easy to do. Once finished, the podiatrist can then provide a diagnosis and the best course for treatment.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Issaquah, WA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

Read more about Vascular Testing in Podiatry
Tuesday, 19 October 2021 00:00

Vascular Testing in Podiatry

In foot care, vascular testing may be required in the diagnosing and treatment of certain podiatric conditions. Vascular testing is particularly relevant for patients with high-risk diabetes, poor circulation, peripheral artery disease (PAD), and chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). Procedures typically involve the examination of blood vessels throughout the body for blockages or buildup.

Vascular testing is very important for the diagnosis of various conditions, including peripheral artery disease and chronic venous insufficiency, as these conditions can greatly affect one’s quality of life and cause pain in the lower limbs. Circulatory problems in the feet and ankles can reflect issues throughout the body, making testing of the blood vessels pertinent.

Testing methods vary between practitioners and can be specific to certain foot and ankle problems. Modern technology has brought about the ability to perform vascular testing using non-invasive methods, such as the cuff-based PADnet testing device. This device records the Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI)/Toe-Brachial Index (TBI) values and Pulse Volume Recording (PVR) waveforms. Contact your podiatrist to determine what vascular testing is available for your needs.

Tuesday, 12 October 2021 00:00

What Is Peripheral Artery Disease?

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) causes a narrowing of arteries in the limbs that are not close to the center of the body, such as the legs and feet. These arteries, which carry blood from the heart, become blocked by a buildup of plaque and cannot deliver adequate blood supply to muscles and tissues. This can result in muscle cramping while exercising (claudication) that does not go away after you stop. You may also experience slow-healing foot wounds and slower growth of leg hair and toenails. The skin on your legs may also have a shiny appearance. PAD is potentially dangerous because it increases the risk of a heart attack or stroke. Also, tissue which does not receive enough blood can become infected or die (gangrene) which, left untreated, may lead to a life-threatening blood infection called sepsis. It is important to pay attention and see a podiatrist if your body gives you any warning signs of PAD.

Peripheral artery disease can pose a serious risk to your health. It can increase the risk of stroke and heart attack. If you have symptoms of peripheral artery disease, consult with the podiatrists from Issaquah Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is when arteries are constricted due to plaque (fatty deposits) build-up. This results in less blood flow to the legs and other extremities. The main cause of PAD is atherosclerosis, in which plaque builds up in the arteries.

Symptoms

Symptoms of PAD include:

  • Claudication (leg pain from walking)
  • Numbness in legs
  • Decrease in growth of leg hair and toenails
  • Paleness of the skin
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Sores and wounds on legs and feet that won’t heal
  • Coldness in one leg

It is important to note that a majority of individuals never show any symptoms of PAD.

Diagnosis

While PAD occurs in the legs and arteries, Podiatrists can diagnose PAD. Podiatrists utilize a test called an ankle-brachial index (ABI). An ABI test compares blood pressure in your arm to you ankle to see if any abnormality occurs. Ultrasound and imaging devices may also be used.

Treatment

Fortunately, lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy diet, exercising, managing cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and quitting smoking, can all treat PAD. Medications that prevent clots from occurring can be prescribed. Finally, in some cases, surgery may be recommended.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Issaquah, WA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Peripheral Artery Disease
Tuesday, 12 October 2021 00:00

Peripheral Artery Disease

Peripheral artery disease (PAD), or peripheral arterial disease, is a circulatory problem in which there is a reduction of blood flow to the limbs due to narrowed arteries. When peripheral artery disease develops, the extremities do not receive enough blood flow; this may cause symptoms to develop such as claudication, or leg pain when walking. The legs are the most common site of peripheral artery disease.

Claudication, or leg pain when walking, is one of several symptoms that can develop due to peripheral artery disease. Other symptoms caused by the disease include painful cramping in the hips, thighs, or calves after certain activities; leg numbness or weakness; coldness in the lower leg or foot; sores on the lower extremities that do not heal; hair loss on the lower extremities; and a missing or weak pulse in the lower extremities. In more severe cases, pain may even occur when the body is at rest or when lying down.

Peripheral artery disease is typically caused by atherosclerosis, a condition in which fatty deposits build up in the arterial walls and reduce blood flow. Smoking, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol are some of the risk factors for peripheral artery disease.

If you are experiencing pain, numbness, or other symptoms in the lower extremities, see your healthcare professional immediately. Diagnosed peripheral artery disease can be treated with various medications, angioplasty and surgery, exercise programs, or alternative medicine. It is important to consult a healthcare professional to determine the best treatment for you.

Millions of people in America suffer from diabetes, which often leads to complications in their feet. Diabetes impairs the body’s ability to regulate blood glucose levels. This, in turn, disrupts the functionality of white blood cells which are critical in closing wounds. Additionally, diabetes can lead to poor circulation, and this reduces the amount of nutrients sent to wound sites and further impairs the healing process. Neuropathy, or nerve damage, is another condition associated with diabetes. Neuropathy further complicates diabetic wound management because it can prevent diabetic adults from feeling when there is trauma or an injury to their skin, and wounds may progress before they are even discovered. All of these factors combined make the diabetic wound harder to detect and heal, which may lead to infection and worse—if it's not treated properly. If you are diabetic, it's important to be under the care of a podiatrist who can offer preventative measures against foot wounds and treat them promptly and properly if they do develop.

Wound care is an important part in dealing with diabetes. If you have diabetes and a foot wound or would like more information about wound care for diabetics, consult with the podiatrists from Issaquah Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Wound Care?

Wound care is the practice of taking proper care of a wound. This can range from the smallest to the largest of wounds. While everyone can benefit from proper wound care, it is much more important for diabetics. Diabetics often suffer from poor blood circulation which causes wounds to heal much slower than they would in a non-diabetic. 

What Is the Importance of Wound Care?

While it may not seem apparent with small ulcers on the foot, for diabetics, any size ulcer can become infected. Diabetics often also suffer from neuropathy, or nerve loss. This means they might not even feel when they have an ulcer on their foot. If the wound becomes severely infected, amputation may be necessary. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance to properly care for any and all foot wounds.

How to Care for Wounds

The best way to care for foot wounds is to prevent them. For diabetics, this means daily inspections of the feet for any signs of abnormalities or ulcers. It is also recommended to see a podiatrist several times a year for a foot inspection. If you do have an ulcer, run the wound under water to clear dirt from the wound; then apply antibiotic ointment to the wound and cover with a bandage. Bandages should be changed daily and keeping pressure off the wound is smart. It is advised to see a podiatrist, who can keep an eye on it.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Issaquah, WA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Wound Care
Tuesday, 05 October 2021 00:00

Wound Care

Diabetics must be wary of all wounds, regardless of depth or size. Diabetes, a chronic disease in which the body cannot properly use glucose the way it normally would, causes various complications that make wounds difficult to heal. Nerve damage or neuropathy will cause diabetics to have trouble feeling the pain of a blister or cut until the condition has significantly worsened or become infected. A diabetic’s weakened immune system can make even the most minor of wounds easily susceptible to infection. Diabetics are also more prone to developing narrow, clogged arteries, and are therefore more likely to develop wounds.

Wounds should be taken care of immediately after discovery, as even the smallest of wounds can become infected if enough bacteria build up within the wound.  To remove dirt, wounds should be first rinsed under running water only. Soap, hydrogen peroxide, or iodine can irritate the injury and should be avoided. To prevent infection, apply antibiotic ointment to the wound and cover it with a bandage. The bandage should be changed daily. The skin around the wound may be cleaned with soap.

To prevent further exacerbation, see a doctor—especially if you have diabetes. Minor skin conditions can become larger problems if not properly inspected. As the wound heals, make sure to avoid applying pressure to the affected area.

Wednesday, 29 September 2021 00:00

Why Are My Toenails Thick?

Thickened toenails are typically a sign of a fungal toenail infection, which can cause changes in the texture and color of the toenail. An infected toenail can often thicken, become brittle or crumbly, and develop white, yellow, or brown discoloration. But while fungal infections are the most common cause of thickened toenails, they are not the only cause. Psoriasis, a skin condition, can also affect the toenails, making them thicker, pitted, and discolored. Paronychia, a nail disease caused by a bacterial infection, can thicken the toenail, make it discolored, and cause redness, pain, and inflammation around the nail. Diabetes can cause toenails to thicken because not enough nutrients are reaching the toenails to maintain their health. Other reasons your toenails may be thickened include onychogryphosis (Ram’s Horn), aging, a toenail injury, or a rare condition called yellow nail syndrome. If you notice changes in the thickness, color, or shape of your toenails, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist. 

If left untreated, toenail fungus may spread to other toenails, skin, or even fingernails. If you suspect you have toenail fungus it is important to seek treatment right away. For more information about treatment, contact the podiatrists of Issaquah Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Symptoms

  • Warped or oddly shaped nails
  • Yellowish nails
  • Loose/separated nail
  • Buildup of bits and pieces of nail fragments under the nail
  • Brittle, broken, thickened nail

Treatment

If self-care strategies and over-the-counter medications does not help your fungus, your podiatrist may give you a prescription drug instead. Even if you find relief from your toenail fungus symptoms, you may experience a repeat infection in the future.

Prevention

In order to prevent getting toenail fungus in the future, you should always make sure to wash your feet with soap and water. After washing, it is important to dry your feet thoroughly especially in between the toes. When trimming your toenails, be sure to trim straight across instead of in a rounded shape. It is crucial not to cover up discolored nails with nail polish because that will prevent your nail from being able to “breathe”.

In some cases, surgical procedure may be needed to remove the toenail fungus. Consult with your podiatrist about the best treatment options for your case of toenail fungus.  

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Issaquah, WA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

Read more about Treating Toenail Fungus
Wednesday, 29 September 2021 00:00

Treating Toenail Fungus

Fungal infection of the toenail, or onychomycosis, typically appears as a gradual change in a toenail’s texture and color that involves brittleness and darkening.  The fungal infection itself occurs beneath the surface of the nail.  Aside from discoloration, other symptoms include the collection of debris beneath the nail plate, white marks on the nail plate, and a foul odor emanating from the nail.  If ignored, the infection can spread into other nails and the skin; in severe cases, it can hinder one’s ability to work or walk. 

The toenails are particularly vulnerable to contracting infection in moist environments where people are likely to be walking barefoot, such as around swimming pools, public showers, and locker rooms.  Fungal infection may also be more likely to occur in nail beds that have been injured, and sufferers of chronic diseases such as diabetes, circulatory problems, or immunodeficiency conditions are particularly prone to developing fungal nails. 

Fungal nails can be primarily prevented by practicing proper hygiene and regularly examining the feet and toes.  Carefully washing the feet with soap and water and thoroughly drying the feet afterwards are essential.  Other tips include wearing shower shoes in public areas, changing shoes and socks daily, keeping toenails clipped at a short length, wearing breathable shoes that fit properly, wearing moisture-wicking socks, and disinfecting home pedicure tools and instruments used to cut nails.

Fungal nail treatment may vary between patients and the severity of the condition.  Your podiatrist may suggest a daily routine of cleansing that spans over a period of time to ease mild infections.  Over-the-counter or prescription antifungal agents may also be prescribed, including topical and/or oral medications.  Debridement, or the removal of diseased nail matter and debris, may also be performed.  In more severe cases, surgical treatment may be needed.  In some instances, the temporary removal of the fungal nail allows for the direct application of a topical antifungal to the nail bed.  In other cases, a chronically painful fungal nail that has not responded to other treatments may be permanently removed; this allows the infection to be cured and avoids the growth of a deformed nail.  

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