If you’ve just been diagnosed with diabetes, your general physician will probably recommend you to go see a podiatrist. And since this is your first time, you’re probably thinking: “What on earth is a podiatrist?” Don’t worry, it’s not some quack doctor or anything. They’re legit medical professionals who can help you with your treatment.
Podiatrists are physicians and surgeons that specialise in treatments of the foot, ankles and sometimes, legs. And as you already know, when you’re diabetic, one of the most affected areas in the body are your feet. That’s why you are being told to go visit a foot doctor.
If everything still confuses you and you want to be enlightened before you set up an appointment in a podiatry clinic, just read on. In this piece we’re laying out the reasons why you need a visit or two with a podiatrist. Especially if you’re diagnosed with Diabetes Type 1 and 2.
But first, what’s the difference between Type 1 and 2?
According to research, about 90 – 95% of people who have diabetes are suffering from Type 2. While the other 5% are diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.
But up until now, people still get confused with these two main types of diabetes. And it’s high time that we smooth things out, once and for all:
- Diabetes Type 1 is the type of diabetes when a person doesn’t produce any insulin at all. Insulin, produced in the pancreas, is what allows your body to use the glucose coming from all the carbs that you eat.
- Diabetes Type 2, on the other hand, is when your body produces insulin but your body doesn’t respond to it, hindering the process of utilizing the sugar and glucose that the body needs. Sometimes, Type 2 is also the condition where the pancreas just doesn’t make enough insulin needed by the body.
These chronic diseases may differ from how they operate, but they are the same in many ways. Especially when it comes to the symptoms that the patients often experience. Here are only some of them:
- Frequent urination
- Cuts and wounds that don’t heal immediately or properly
- Blurry vision
- Feeling very thirsty every now and then
People who are diagnosed with these diseases can also experience unintentional weight loss, sudden shifts in mood, and irritability. In addition to that, people with either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes can also suffer from numbness or tingling sensations in their hands and feet.
While their symptoms are relatively similar, they differ in terms of when these symptoms occur. According to doctors, symptoms of Type 2 diabetes may develop slowly over time. In the case of Type 1, symptoms develop quickly, just in a span of several weeks.
So, why see a podiatrist?
Now that we’ve differentiated the two types and laid out their symptoms, it’s about time that we discuss what you came here for. Below are some of the reasons why you need to go see a foot doctor. If these valid reasons won’t convince you to set up an appointment with a podiatry clinic of your choice, we don’t know what will.
Assess the Blood Flow in Your Body
Whether you’re diagnosed with Type 1 or Type 2, this condition will still impede your blood circulation. When you have diabetes, the sugar or glucose molecules build up at the walls of your artery resulting in narrower pathways of the blood.
Not only that. Since your feet are the farthest area from your heart, naturally, your feet receive the least blood and at a much slower pace. And if you’ve listened to your science teacher when you were young, you’d know that blood is necessary to the different systems of the body. Especially the healing processes.
This is where a podiatrist comes in. They will assess the current state of your blood flow just by looking at the color of the skin in your foot and overall appearance. In addition, they could also determine whether you have a healthy or weak heartbeat. They can pull off this trick just by searching for the two main pulses on your foot. Amazing isn’t it?
Check if You Still Feel Sensations on Your Feet
Nerves are also affected by diabetes. The myelin sheath that protects nerve fibers are only allowed to absorb a certain amount of sugar. If it absorbs more than it should, the myelin sheath will eventually deteriorate, leaving the nerve fiber exposed and desensitized. If this happens, you won’t feel anything: temperature, vibrations, or even pain.
Not feeling a thing is potentially harmful. You won’t know immediately whether you’re injured or not, which will prevent you from taking necessary precautions or treatments. And from there, anything worse can happen.
That’s why you need to see a podiatrist. They can assess you and give you expert advice regarding treatment.
Know the Health of Your Skin and Nails
Sufficient supply of blood does wonders to your body. That includes keeping the integrity and health of your skin and nails. Since diabetes reduces blood supply, the skin and nails can be affected by the condition, too. So it must be assessed for treatment.
When you visit a podiatrist, they’ll have a look whether you have wounds or cuts that’s possibly infected. They will also look for warts, corns, calluses, or lesions that must be treated. If in any case you have fungal infections and ingrown on your nails, those will have to be addressed too.
To keep your feet healthy, especially if you’re diagnosed with diabetes, you have to regularly see a podiatrist. So if your general physician recommends that you go see one, set up an appointment immediately. The earlier you are assessed and treated, the better.
Look for podiatry clinics like Watsonia Podiatry which employs professional foot experts to properly treat your condition. So whenever you’re advised to see a foot doctor, contact them right away.
You can also give them a call if you feel something different or unusual in your feet. Anything that involves these body parts, don’t just brush it off. Seek help from professionals.