Do I need to see a podiatrist every year?

Last Modified: 11/24/2021

Foot care

This post was written by Ashley M. Bojrab, DPM, FACFAS, ABPM, CWS, PPG – Podiatry.

As a podiatrist, my patients with diabetes often ask, “My family doctor told me to come here, but why do I need to see you?” That’s a great question!

There are more than 34 million Americans living with diabetes, and this number continues to grow. Diabetes must be managed properly to maintain a good quality of life. Diabetes can impact many different aspects of the body, such as the eyes, kidneys, circulation, nerves and skin. The immune system decreases in individuals with diabetes, and from a podiatry perspective, if a patient develops a sore on their foot, it can lead to an open wound. An infection can develop and get into the bone and result in an amputation. 

Podiatrists try to give education and provide knowledge to our patients on how to prevent this from happening. 

What to expect

For those with diabetes, we typically recommend an annual visit. Your podiatrist will check different aspects of the feet to make sure diabetes has not caused any harm or deficits. For example, circulation and sensation in the feet are very important. Circulation is needed to help keep tissue and bone healthy as sensation is a detector when something goes wrong. Skin integrity will be evaluated as well as the biomechanics for your foot.

Prevention

It’s important to keep the feet protected. Shoe gear can be the No. 1 defender to prevent harm to the foot. Visual foot checks are helpful, too, as loss of sensation to the bottom of the feet happens frequently in the diabetic population. If you can’t see your feet, get a mirror and place it on the floor or ask a friend or family member to help you with daily foot checks. Seeing a registered dietician to help control blood sugars is always a great way to prevent diabetes from progressing.

If you are navigating a diabetes diagnosis, your podiatrist is here to help. Schedule your annual visit and keep your feet protected to stay healthy.

 

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