Famous Diabetic feet

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Diabetes affects 26 million people in the US and more than 366 million people worldwide. A diagnosis of diabetes does not necessarily mean a compromise in your quality of life.  In fact, you are in the company of many well-known persons like Halle Berry, Mike Huckabee, Paula Deen, and Randy Jackson.  Diabetics many times experience burning, numbness, tingling, pins and needles sensations in the feet called small fiber peripheral neuropathy.  60-70% of diabetics will develop peripheral neuropathy, or lose sensation in their feet. It happens when you have high blood sugar levels over a long time.  Other medical problems that may cause neuropathy are:

  • Autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Infections such as HIV and liver infections
  • Low levels of vitamin B12 or other problems with your diet
  • Poor blood flow to the legs
  • Drugs and toxins may damage nerves. One example is heavy alcohol use. Glue, lead, mercury, and solvents may damage nerves. Drugs that treat infections, cancer, seizures, and high blood pressure may cause nerve damage.

One way to evaluate if a person has small fiber neuropathy is a test called epidermal nerve fiber density analysis.   This is done in the office setting by obtaining a small biopsy of the skin.  This is the same procedure done when having a biopsy at a dermatologist’s office though the tissue is handled differently. The sample is processed to allow a lab to visualize and count small sensory nerve fibers in the skin.  When these nerves are affected by peripheral neuropathy, the number and shape of the nerves is abnormal and can be recognized under the microscope.

If you are diagnosed with diabetic neuropathy always wear shoes to protect your feet from injury. Always check the  inside of your shoes, before putting them on, for foreign objects like stones, nails, or rough areas that may harm your feet.

Inspect your feet every day.  Examine the sides, tops, soles, heels of your feet and between the toes. Every day wash your feet with lukewarm water and mild soap. Apply lotion/cream on dry, cracked skin.  Check bathwater temperature with your elbow before putting your feet in the water.

Up to 25% of diabetics will develop a foot ulcer.  To avoid becoming a diabetic statistic, visit your podiatrist yearly.

If you are concerned that you may have peripheral neuropathy call the Gentle Foot Care Center at 863-314-9255 for an appointment or visit http://www.Gentlefootcarecenter.  Dr. Olga Garcia Luepschen   and the Gentle foot Care Center are located on US 27.

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