Foot News Blog

Recent diabetes research shows promise in dealing with diabetes.

It may soon be possible to check your blood sugar level by way of you saliva.  Recent studies have examined the ability to measure different chemical properties of saliva, which may mimic blood sugar levels directly.  Research has been ongoing for several years in attempt to avoid the frequent finger sticks to determine blood sugar.  While not necessarily a CURE for diabetes, efforts are being undertaken to simplify management of the disease.

Moreover, research continues on an inhaled insulin.  If this research matures in to marketable consumer products, the days of needle sticks of injectable insulin may be over for many diabetic patients!

Millions of people in the world experience pain from one problem or another; pain they wish would go away. But did you know the ability to feel pain could be considered a blessing? The ability to feel pain allows us to know when a stimulus is potentially harmful. If we have a splinter in our hand, touch a hot stove, pull a muscle – all of these pain signals allow us to know when something is awry. We can then heed the warnings of our body and either avoid further damage to ourselves and/or protect the area of our body that is causing us pain.

Diabetics, however, can lose the ability to feel all sensation in their feet, including pain. The inability to metabolize sugars causes large fluctuations in the amount of sugar (glucose) in the blood. The higher and longer the duration of elevated blood sugar, the more damaging this can become to the tissues; namely the eyes, kidneys, and feet. Similarly, if you were to drop a few drops of gasoline in to a spray bottle of water and dust your grass with this solution, it would not immediately kill the grass. If you sprayed the grass daily with this same solution, however, over time, the gasoline would become toxic to the grass, ultimately killing it.

Over time, the fluctuations of blood sugar can damage the nerves in the feet, called peripheral neuropathy (damage to the nerves). Initial symptoms include burning, “pins and needles” sensations, and tingling, and may eventually progress to complete numbness.

The inability to feel the feet at all poses problems. The ability to feel a seam in a shoe, a pebble stuck to your foot, or a blister that otherwise would be a nuisance becomes undetectable. If undiscovered, this type of problem can cause significant sores or ulcers to develop on the foot. So the next time you feel a small rock in your shoe, take a second and be thankful you have the ability to know its there! If you have peripheral neuropathy, diabetes, a history of previous foot wounds, or a chronic callus that repeatedly recurs, give us a call. An inch of prevention can save you miles of problems down the road!

Sunday, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, sustained a foot injury initially thought to potentially be a fracture. Xrays and further tests ruled out a fracture, leaving the diagnosis of a sprain of his lateral midfoot. The bone half way between the base of the pinky toe and the heel bone is the CUBOID. Tearing or straining the ligaments in this area can take quite a while to heal. Ligaments provide stability of a bone to a bone, and when strained or torn, they can cause considerable pain. There is no substitute for rest allowing these to heal. While he may be able to tape his foot to minize the motion of this area of his foot to enable him to play, there is some risk in in sustaining permanent pain if this area is not allowed to heal appropriately. For your foot injuries, Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation are the rules of thumb. When the pain doesn't resolve in a week or two, give US a call! We'll get you back in the game!!!

Winter spells colder temperatures in many places of the world, including Kentucky. With colder temperatures comes enclosed shoes. Enclosed shoes often leads to increased foot problems, such as pain from bunions, bone spurs, abnormally contracted toes (hammer toes), and athlete's foot. To avoid such problems heed some helpful advice.

To avoid pressure against certain areas of your foot, ensure you wear shoes that are wide enough or have a large enough toebox to prevent irritation or excessive pressure in certain areas. If necessary, take your shoes and have them stretched. Better yet, bring them to us; we'll do it for you!!

Also enclosed shoes can bring itching, irritated feet! Ensuring your shoes have enough air circulation can help avoid this sort of problem. Fabrics such as canvas or nylon breath better than leather. When possible, slip your shoes off and let them air out. If there's odor, we have a solution for that as well! Over the counter Lamisil cream or spray can be very effective against itchy feet, and soaking in concentrated black tea daily can reduce excessive perspiration.

For your winter foot blues, give us a call!

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