Wound Care

How Often Should You Consult a Diabetic Foot Doctor?

How Often Should You Consult a Diabetic Foot Doctor?

Posted On: November 21, 2022

Did you know that 60% of people with diabetes will develop nerve damage or neuropathy in their feet? In addition, up to 25% of people will develop foot ulcers at some point during their life.

If you have diabetes, it’s essential to know how to take care of your feet. A significant part of proper foot care is knowing when to see a diabetic foot doctor and understanding the treatments they provide.

This guide will teach you how often you should see a diabetic foot doctor and what to expect at your appointment.

Foot Problems and Diabetes

Diabetes causes too much glucose in your blood. If it’s not well controlled, it can lead to severe complications with your eyes, heart, and kidneys. It can also affect your feet because high blood sugar can damage the blood vessels and nerves in your feet.

How Diabetes Affects Your Feet

This nerve damage is referred to as diabetic neuropathy and causes tingling, numbness, pain, and loss of feeling in the feet.

Loss of feeling in your feet causes you not to feel the pain if you step on something sharp or have a blister on your foot. As a result, it leads to cuts and sores that can become infected. Additionally, since diabetes affects the blood flow in your feet, it can also make it difficult for cuts, sores, and infections to heal properly.

Infections that won’t heal properly can lead to a severe bacterial infection known as gangrene.

When you have foot problems and diabetes, you must take special care of your feet. You’ll need to take specific steps, which include seeing a diabetic foot doctor and taking care of your feet at home.

Seeing a Diabetic Foot Doctor

Knowing when to see a foot doctor when you have diabetes is essential. If you have type 1 diabetes, you should have a diabetic foot assessment at least every six months.

If you have type 2 diabetes, you should see a diabetic podiatrist annually as long as you have good circulation and no numbness or burning in your feet. On the other hand, if you have numbness or poor circulation, you should get diabetic foot assessments at least every 2 to 3 months.

You should also make an appointment to see a diabetic foot doctor as soon as possible if you experience symptoms like:

  • Dry or cracked skin on your feet
  • Pain in your legs and thighs during physical activity
  • Changes in the temperature or color of your feet
  • Yellow and thickened toenails
  • Fungal infections like athlete’s foot
  • Blisters or sores on your feet
  • Ingrown toenails or infected corn

What Happens During a Diabetic Foot Assessment?

Initially, a diabetic foot doctor will ask you questions about your health history and the current medications you take. They’ll also ask about any previous issues with your diabetes and feet, like poorly controlled blood sugar, ulcers, or circulation problems.

Before moving on to the diabetic foot assessment, they’ll check your shoes to ensure they fit properly. If your shoes don’t fit correctly, it can lead to blisters, ulcers, or calluses.

Next, you’ll have a diabetic foot assessment. During this assessment, your podiatrist will assess the pulse near the top of your foot and inside the ankle to determine if you have adequate blood flow. They’ll also check the sensitivity of the nerves in your feet.

Your doctor will do this by conducting a diagnostic assessment for diabetic neuropathy. This assessment typically includes tests such as:

  • Assess your walking
  • Assess your feet and ankles
  • Ultrasound
  • X-rays
  • CT scan
  • Blood flow studies
  • Blood work

They’ll also assess your feet for blisters, wounds, or a diabetic foot ulcer. Your podiatrist will conduct a physical examination of your feet and ask you various questions about the types of shoes you wear and what diabetic foot care you do at home.

Diabetic Foot Care Education

Your podiatrist will also educate you about caring for your feet at home. It’s essential to check your feet every day. Although you might not feel pain in your feet, you can still have foot problems like wounds or sores.

You’ll need to check your feet every evening after taking off your shoes. You’ll also need to check between your toes and look for issues like:

  • Red spots
  • Cuts and sores
  • Ingrown toenails
  • Swelling and blisters
  • Warm spots
  • Corns or calluses

Diabetic Foot Treatments

Your podiatrist will ensure you have proper footwear, such as diabetic shoes, which provide the support and protection you need.

Your podiatrist will then recommend foot nerve pain treatment, depending on the test results.

If you have neuropathy, you can have MicroVas Treatments. MicroVas is a type of ionic impulse therapy. It delivers electrical impulses that pass entirely through your limb. These impulses stimulate your nerves and muscles and improve blood flow.

You may also need neural prolotherapy (NPT), which involves a series of injections directly below the skin in the area of nerve damage. It’s typically a series of 5 to 10 injections, but this varies depending on your particular condition. It’s often combined with MicroVas treatments.

Other treatments for neuropathy include vitamin B12 injections or topical CBD.

Wound Care Treatments

Treatment for diabetic foot ulcers involves medications, wound dressings, and removing the dead skin and tissue from the wound. You’ll also need to take pressure off the affected area by not standing for long periods and sitting down to relieve pressure.

Surgery

Finally, you may need surgery if conservative treatments haven’t been effective. Many people have surgery to remove bunions or correct deformities like a hammer toe. Doing this can relieve the pressure on your foot and allow your wound to heal.

See a Diabetic Foot Doctor Today

When you have diabetes, it’s essential to see a diabetic foot doctor on a regular basis.

If you’re searching Google for a “podiatrist near me,” you won’t need to look any further than Graff Foot, Ankle, and Wound Care. We offer diabetic foot assessments, diabetic foot ulcer treatment, neuropathy feet treatment, ingrown toenail treatment, and more.

We have highly trained and experienced staff and will help you to feel comfortable in our office. We look forward to helping you, so make sure you contact us today to schedule an appointment!