November is Diabetes Awareness month, and what an important month it is! If you have this disease you need to understand how it works and how it can affect your feet. One very dangerous complication that can result is Charcot foot.
With this condition the bones in your feet weaken to the point of fracturing. You may also have nerve damage and be unable to feel pain in your feet, so you continue walking on these fractured bones. This can lead to collapse of your arch, disability, extreme deformity, and possibly even amputation. It’s important to look out for the warning signs that Charcot foot may present. Although you may be unable to feel pain there are other clues, including:
- Warmness to the touch - a sign that infection is occurring
- Redness – another sign of infection
- Swelling – fluids are collecting to fight off infection or help heal damage
- Pain – If you still have some feeling in your feet you will experience discomfort.
If you notice any of these symptoms, please contact us as quickly as possible so that treatment can begin. The earlier you can get treatment the less likely that any severe complications will arise.
People with diabetes need to take serious care of their feet. You can usually prevent Charcot foot—and other diabetic foot complications—from occurring by being diligent in your daily foot care. The most important thing to do is to check your feet every day for signs that anything might be wrong. You should also wear supportive footwear to keep excessive pressure off of your feet. Lastly, remember to keep your disease under control. Keep your blood sugar levels in a safe range and follow any guidelines given by your doctor for managing the disease.
For more information about taking care of diabetic feet and protecting them against Charcot foot call Dr. Mitchell Wachtel at (978) 794-8406 to make your appointment in one of our three easily accessible offices in North Andover, Lowell, or Haverhill.