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Posts for tag: diabetes

Walking with friends is a great way to stay motiviatedThe American Heart Association kicks off a month long celebration designed to help people get more active with National Walking Day, the first Wednesday in April.

Walking is the first step in getting active. In fact brisk walking lowers your risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes as much as running.

So take the first step, and check out the AMA’s website for everything you need to know about walking from just starting out, to preventing injury to tips on finding the right shoes.

Tip! Walking with friends is a great way to stay motivated.

If you feel any foot/ankle pain, make an appointment with us today to get walking sooner!

Keeping your feet healthy with diabetesSimple steps that help people with diabetes keep their feet healthy

A diabetes diagnosis can be daunting, but a simple attitude adjustment can make a world of difference in how well you fare while living with the disease. When people with diabetes take proactive steps to monitor key health indicators, experts agree that it’s possible to prevent some of the most severe risks of diabetes, including lower limb amputation.

People ages 20 and older who are living with diabetes account for about 60 percent of non-traumatic lower-limb amputations, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) 2014 National Diabetes Statistics Report.

“The CDC says the occurrence of diabetes-related foot and lower-leg amputation has decreased by 65 percent since 1996,” says Jonathan Bennett, DPM, a podiatrist at Orange County Foot & Ankle Group and member of the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). “Working together, podiatrists and their patients with diabetes can reduce the number of amputations even more.”

People with diabetes may be less aware of cuts or wounds on their feet due to the nerve damage related to their disease, Dr. Bennett points out. “Regular and vigilant foot care can help catch problems before they develop into a health crisis.”

APMA offers advice to help people with diabetes protect their foot health:

  • Inspect your feet daily, checking the entire foot and all 10 toes for cuts, bruises, sores, or changes to the toenails, such as thickening or discoloration. Treat wounds immediately and see your podiatrist if a problem persists or infection is apparent.

  • Exercise by walking, which can help you maintain a healthy weight and improve circulation. Be sure to wear athletic shoes appropriate for the type of exercise you’re doing.

  • When you buy new shoes, have them properly measured and fitted. Foot size and shape can change over time, and ill-fitting shoes are a leading cause of foot pain and lesions. Certain types of shoes, socks, and custom orthotics are available for people with diabetes, and they may be covered under Medicare. You can find a list of podiatrist-approved footwear and products for people with diabetes on the APMA website, www.apma.org.

  • Keep your feet covered and never go barefoot, even at home. The risk of cuts and infection is too great.

  • See a podiatrist to remove calluses, corns, or warts—don’t tackle them yourself, and don’t ask an unlicensed nonprofessional to do it. Over-the-counter products can burn your skin and injure your foot. Podiatrists are specially trained to address all aspects of foot health for people with diabetes.

  • Get checkups twice a year. An exam by your podiatrist is the best way to ensure your feet stay healthy.

“For people with diabetes, taking charge of your own foot health can help you avoid foot-related complications like amputation,” Dr. Bennett says. “Working with today’s podiatrist will help you safeguard your foot health.”

Jonathan Bennett, DPM, is a podiatrist at Orange County foot & Ankle Group in Fullerton and Tustin, Orange County, CA. Call 714-888-6860 or visit our appointments page to make an appointment. Visit www.apma.org to learn more about foot health and care.

New Year's Resolutions can include many goals, from getting healthier to traveling more to running a marathon. It's always a good idea to make sure your feet are in tip top shape, and we're here to help you prep.

This blog post focuses on a top goal for many, weight loss and your feet. An estimated 70 million overweight Americans experience foot problems, like heel pain and flat feet. Sore feet make it hard to exercise and lose weight; and without exercise, those extra pounds worsen or exacerbate the progression of diabetes, heart disease and other serious health threats. Today, Orange County Foot & Ankle Surgeons urged overweight adults to seek immediate treatment for chronic, activity-limiting foot and ankle problems to foster compliance with physician-directed exercise programs.

2015 new years resolutions

“It’s unfortunate overweight adults get caught up in the vicious cycle of avoiding physical activity due to foot or ankle pain, thereby permitting cardiovascular disease and other life-threatening conditions to worsen as a result,” says Dr. Bennett, DPM.  “For example, in many cases, chronic heel pain occurs from carrying too much weight. Left untreated, it becomes an impediment to physical activity and meaningful weight loss.”

Bennett says there’s no reason foot or ankle pain should stop patients from exercising. The first step toward breaking the cycle is an evaluation by a foot and ankle surgeon.

According to the ACFAS consumer Web site, FootHealthFacts.org, many causes of foot pain can be relieved without surgery through stretching exercises, orthotics and athletic shoes with good shock absorption and support. If a bunion, heel pain or other condition requires surgery, patients can participate during their recovery in non-weight-bearing activities, such as riding a stationary bike, swimming or weight training.

For those moderately to severely overweight, Bennett says a thorough physical examination is mandatory before beginning an exercise program.

“Once cleared by your physician to begin exercising, don’t try to do too much too soon. Follow a gradual routine until your body adjusts to the stress of regular physical activity,” he says. “For example, I counsel overweight patients to avoid working out on treadmills or elliptical machines to minimize pounding and stress on their joints.”

Shedding excess pounds helps diabetic patients control their disease, but Bennett notes many who experience foot ulcerations and vascular problems caused by diabetes might think they shouldn’t exercise.

“Every diabetes patient needs regular foot exams to check for possible sore spots and assess nerve sensation,” says Bennett. “And with proper diabetic foot care and the right footwear, most patients can follow an exercise regimen that is safe and appropriate for them.”

For more information about ankle fractures and sprains or other foot and ankle problems, check out our Patient Education center on line, or make an appointment today!