Diabetic Foot Problems

People with diabetes are at greater risk for developing foot problems, often because of two complications of diabetes: nerve damage, known as neuropathy, and poor circulation. Neuropathy causes the loss of sensation in your feet, taking away your ability to feel pain and discomfort, so you may not be aware of an injury or irritation. Poor circulation in your feet makes wound healing difficult. Diabetes increases the risk of developing a wide range of foot problems including wounds or ulcers, skin problems, bunions and hammertoes, and a condition called Charcot’s neuroarthopathy. In addition, small foot problems can turn into serious complications. With diabetes, prevention is the best medicine. This is accomplished by educating patients in preventive foot care. We train all of our diabetic patients to examine their feet on a regular basis. Dr. McGuire is very experienced in treating diabetic patients. We perform a thorough podiatric evaluation, including a detailed medical history, foot examination, and evaluation of the blood supply with Doppler ultrasound, to evaluate the blood flow in the foot. We also do a simple test, called a Semmes-Weinstein test, in the office to check if there is neuropathy or numbness in the foot. Regular check-ups in addition to controlling diabetes with medication and lifestyle is the best way to minimize diabetic foot complications and amputations.