The Diabetic and the Podiatrist

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If diabetes is an issue mostly affecting the normal function of the pancreas, either through insulin resistance or the inability to naturally produce insulin in the body, how does diabetes pertain to a podiatrist? Podiatrists are doctors of podiatric medicine, i.e., someone who specializes in the medical care of our feet and ankles. As a physician, a podiatrist can work with other doctors to help an individual with diabetes manage their symptoms and secondary conditions that can have negative impacts on their foot and ankle health. Diabetes can negatively impact several aspects of our health:

  • Nerve sensation

  • Skin health

  • Circulation

  • Fighting infection

  • Healing from diabetic wounds

Having a podiatrist on your medical team is crucial. All of these issues can affect the feet and ankles. For example, calluses that form from friction or pressure can simply form and resolve in non-diabetic individuals. For the diabetic patient, calluses have the potential to turn into an ulcer that is incapable of healing. In the worst cases, non-healing ulcers can become infected and create so much difficulty that amputation of the affected foot becomes a viable option. If you have a lack of sensation in your feet due to nerve damage from diabetes, you might not notice an ulcer that has formed from a callus until it’s too late. That’s where podiatrists come in! Regular visits with a podiatrist can help a diabetic patient by:

  • Providing orthotics to soothe irritation, prevent skin breakdown and deformity

  • Safely help a patient trim their toenails and care for wounds

  • Detect problems early before they develop into more serious conditions

  • And so much more!

Dr. Michele Kurlanski and her team here at Lighthouse Foot & Ankle Center are passionate about diabetic foot care. Maintaining the health of your feet and ankles while managing your diabetes doesn’t have to be difficult. Call us today at 207-774-0028 to schedule an appointment with us in Scarborough, Maine!