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By Michele Kurlanski, DPM
January 11, 2016
Category: Diabetic Foot Care
Tags: Untagged

There might be some common resolutions that are made this time of year, but not all of them are universal or apply to everyone. Non-smokers don’t have much need to vow to quit smoking this year. Individuals in the lower levels of healthy bodyweight needn’t concern themselves with losing weight. However, anyone who has feet can benefit from making a resolution to give more attention to foot care in the New Year, and this is especially important for one segment of the general population—those who live with diabetes.

Diabetic foot care is an essential activity, regardless of the time of year, but the New Year holiday provides an excellent opportunity to honestly assess how you are doing in this area and then commit to making any necessary improvements. Remember, the simple preventative measures that you take are essential for reducing the risk of serious medical complications.

Here are some of the top resolutions that we recommend for those with diabetes:

  • Manage your glucose levels. Keeping your glucose levels within recommended ranges is key for reducing the risk of nerve damage.
  • Perform a daily foot inspection…every day! This simple practice is essential for catching issues at their earliest, most treatable stages. Anyone with diabetes can benefit from thoroughly inspecting his or her feet every day, but this especially holds true if you have diabetic neuropathy.
  • Wash your feet daily. Warm (not hot!) water and mild soap will help to wash away any microorganisms (fungi, bacteria) that could lead to an infection.
  • Keep your feet dry. In addition to washing away the potential contaminants, keeping feet dry makes it harder for microorganisms to thrive—or even survive.
  • Moisturize your feet. This might seem contradictory to the previous resolution, but moisturizing is necessary to prevent your skin from becoming too dry, at which point they crack or fissure. Be careful, though, not to use moisturizer between the toes.

There are many diabetic foot care methods you can, and should, start on your own, but our professionals at Lighthouse Foot and Ankle Center are ready to provide any help you may need. If you would like more information or require assistance putting together a foot care plan that works for you, do not hesitate to contact us. Either call our Scarborough, ME podiatrist office at (207) 774-0028 or take advantage of our online form to schedule an appointment today.

By Michele Kurlanski, DPM
December 23, 2015
Category: Diabetic Foot Care
Tags: Neuropathy   diabetes   charcot foot  

Diabetes is a major health care issue in our nation. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), report that over 29 million people have this particular ailment, and that number has grown from 26 million in 2010. At our podiatry office in Scarborough, ME, we see firsthand how this disease can affect the health and safety of your lower limbs.

It cannot be overstated – individuals who live with diabetes must give extra attention to foot care. The risk is great for medical issues that threaten your health, such as Charcot foot. Any condition is always best handled at the earliest possible stage, but this especially holds true when we discuss the threats diabetes brings to the feet.

How to prevent charcot foot Diabetic neuropathy is found in over half of all cases of diabetes. When combined with peripheral arterial disease (PAD), the risk for developing Charcot foot is rather high. If you know that you have diabetes, the best practice is to take measures to prevent this foot deformity from developing in the first place. Prevention measures include:

  • Control your glucose levels.
  • Keep your blood pressure and cholesterol at healthy levels.
  • Never walk barefoot or wear sandals or flip flops.
  • Quit smoking and limit the amount of alcohol you drink.
  • Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet to avoid having vitamin deficiencies.
  • Wear shoes that are well-constructed, fit properly, and offer ample protection.
  • Have regularly scheduled visits with our office.

Early treatment is crucial for this condition. Nonsurgical approaches include immobilizing the foot and ankle (to prevent further damage and stabilize the affected area), activity modification, and custom footwear and/or bracing.

Depending on the severity of the deformity, surgery may be required. To reduce the risk of this becoming a necessary option, be sure to check your feet daily and know the early warning signs of the condition.

Diabetic foot care is a serious matter. Fortunately, you don’t have to do it alone. When you come to Lighthouse Foot and Ankle Center, we will help you develop a foot care plan that keeps you safe and reduces the risk of serious medical conditions like Charcot foot. Your health is our number one priority, so come in and see us today for the care you need. Schedule your appointment with our Scarborough, ME office online or contact our professional staff at (207) 774-0028.

By Michele Kurlanski, DPM
December 15, 2015
Category: Diabetic Foot Care
Tags: foot   charcot   deformity  

The Planning and Codes Department for our town of Scarborough serves an important function. When determining whether or not to approve proposed construction projects and during later building inspections, this local government agency is tasked with ensuring that buildings are safe for citizens who will enter them. One thing they must consider is how stable the building’s foundation is.

Buildings aren’t the only places where a stable foundation is important. For another example, you need not look any further than your own body. Looking at how humans are structured, you can see how it falls onto our feet and ankles to keep us stable, upright, and mobile. For this reason, Charcot foot is a serious medical issue that needs to be addressed, preferably at the earliest stages possible.

If you are unfamiliar with this particular condition, it is a deformity that develops when the bones in the foot do not receive the nourishment they need, often due to poor circulation. This deformity requires a second condition to compound the situation – neuropathy (nerve damage)—which can result in diminished physical sensations in the feet.

When the peripheral nerves are unable to report damage to the brain—in the form of pain—weakened bones can break easily, be left unattended, and then sustain greater damage over time. The cycle will repeat itself until the deformity has become extreme.

Diabetes often leads to the poor circulation and damaged nerves and can result in this condition, so if you have this disease you need to be careful and inspect your feet daily to catch the foot deformity at its earliest stage possible.

Symptoms to be aware of include swelling of the foot (especially when there is no obvious injury or reason for the swelling), redness, soreness, warmth to the touch, and, in some cases, pain. If you recognize any of these signs, contact us for the earliest appointment possible.

Be sure consult our Scarborough, ME podiatrist office for all of your diabetic foot care needs, including addressing conditions like Charcot foot. Lighthouse Foot and Ankle Center is ready to help with any issues that arise in your lower appendages. Contact us today for more information regarding our services by calling (207) 774-0028 or schedule your appointment online.

By Michele Kurlanski, DPM
December 08, 2015
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

We provide many valuable services here at Lighthouse Foot & Ankle Center, but one of the most important is diabetic foot care. Education and treatment are essential for keeping your lower limbs safe when you live with diabetes.

Diabetes affects the body in a variety of ways, but one that is easy to overlook is the role it has in foot health and safety. When you stop and consider the fact that they are already the furthest points in your body from the heart, it stands to reason that impaired circulation from this disease makes it difficult for the feet and toes to receive the nourishment they need.

Another condition often accompanying diabetes is peripheral neuropathy, which affects your body’s ability to feel pain and recognize when an injury has been sustained. Between the two factors, a diabetic individual can sustain a minor wound, be completely unaware of it, and not treat the issue. Given the body’s impaired circulatory and immune systems, the wound will continue to break down and could become infected, creating the risk of a necessary amputation.

Diabetic care is centered on prevention and protection measures to reduce the risk of those serious consequences that arise due to diabetic foot ulcers. These measures include:

  • Daily foot inspection – including tops, bottoms, and between the toes
  • Not walking barefoot, even at home
  • Keeping your feet dry to reduce the risk of an infection the body has a diminished ability to fight
  • Moisturizing to prevent cracks and fissures that could lead to infection
  • Managing your glucose levels
  • Keeping your toenails trimmed properly
  • Planning a physical activity program with your physician or our professionals.

It is difficult to overstate the importance of diabetic foot care in keeping you safe and healthy and reducing the risk of potential amputation. Make sure to come in and see us at Lighthouse Foot and Ankle Center for all of your foot care needs when you live with diabetes. Our Scarborough, ME podiatrist office can help you create a foot care plan and provide the treatment you need to prevent diabetic foot ulcers from developing.

Contact us today by calling (207) 774-0028 or take advantage of our online form to schedule your appointment. Also, don’t forget to connect with our social media pages on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest so that you can stay current with the top health news, tips, and practices.

By Michele Kurlanski, DPM
December 02, 2015
Category: Neuropathy
Tags: Neuropathy   nerve   damage   prevention  

Project G.R.A.C.E. is committed to helping our neighbors here in the Scarborough, ME experience a joyful holiday season. Our volunteers fulfill holiday wishes, stock the food pantry, and collect warm gloves and mittens, scarves, and hats to prevent children from getting cold this winter. This proactive action prevent problems from happening in the first place is something we can relate to in the medical field. Taking steps to prevent neuropathy, for example, can head off potentially serious issues down the road.

Sometime patients ask if it is possible to prevent nerve damage. We are happy to reply that not only is it possible, some of the measures also come with other health benefits that can improve your overall wellness!

Some of the key steps to prevent neuropathy include:

  • Monitoring blood sugar levels. This is particularly important for diabetic individuals, who are at heightened risk for serious medical complications that can result from neuropathic conditions.
  • Staying physically active. It is important to check with us and your physician to determine appropriate levels of physical activity, but regular exercise leads to enhanced circulation, which is necessary for healthy nerves.
  • Quitting smoking. This habit can damage the nervous system, but quitting has many additional health benefits besides healthier nerves.
  • Medical consultation. The best way to create an action plan for keeping the nerves in your lower body healthy is to stop in and see our specialists. We can evaluate your situation and work with you to develop a plan that works for you.

The hope at Lighthouse Foot and Ankle Center is that you are able to prevent neuropathy from developing in the first place. There are clearly certain measures you can take, but it is virtually impossible to guarantee that it will not happen. When it does, you will find comfort in the fact that we offer the neuropathy treatment you need.

Whether you would like additional information on nerve damage prevention or need to schedule your appointment at our Scarborough, ME office for treatment, contact us today. You can either give us a call at (207) 774-0028 or reach us through our online form.

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