If you’re diabetic, you’ve probably been told by your doctor to go see a podiatrist several times. This is totally normal because all diabetic patients are recommended to visit a podiatry clinic.
But if you’ve just been diagnosed and you’re quite a skeptic, you’re probably wondering what on earth is a podiatrist and why do you have to set up an appointment with them.
For first-timers, podiatrists are basically foot doctors. They’re the expert when it comes to the treatment of ailments and injuries that your feet are suffering from.
“So what does it have to do with my diabetes?” Well, glad you asked. Your condition and your feet are connected in many ways. Whether it’s Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, your feet will likely suffer more than the rest of the body. That’s why you need to undergo diabetic foot assessments in a podiatry clinic.
Let us expound more to make everything clear to you. Below are some of the reasons why you need to see a podiatrist if you’re diabetic.
1. Foot doctors need to assess the blood flow in your feet
All types of diabetes can affect the blood circulation in your body. What happens is that the sugar molecules gather up on the wall of your arteries, making them narrower and more difficult for the blood to pass through.
And since your feet are the farthest from your heart, they will receive the least amount of blood. If this happens, lesser oxygen will be delivered to your feet which can cause several complications like a slower wound healing process.
If you visit a podiatrist, they will know if you have a good blood flow. Just by looking at your foot, judging its skin tone and overall look, they would know whether your blood circulation is in good shape or not.
Also, they would know if you have a healthy heartbeat just by checking two pulses on your feet.
2. Sensations on your feet need to be examined
Diabetes can also damage your nerves, not just your blood flow.
Human nerves have this protective layer called the myelin sheath. The thing about it is that it cannot absorb too much sugar. And diabetes is all about having too much sugar in the body, basically.
If you have diabetes, the myelin sheath will likely be destructed, thus, exposing the nerve fibres that it protects. Once exposed, these fibres will be desensitized that will result in numbness. Meaning, you won’t be able to feel vibrations, heat, or even pain.
While having not to feel pain is everybody’s wish, it’s actually more harmful. When you can’t feel anything, you wouldn’t know that you’ve already bruised or wounded yourself immediately. If open wounds or simple cuts are left unchecked or untreated, you can get yourself infected and it will only get worse from there.
3. Your skin and nails must be in tip-top shape, too
Good blood flow can work wonders for your body. And that includes keeping your skin and nails healthy.
But since diabetes cuts the blood supply throughout the body, the skin on your leg and foot area, and your toenails will be greatly affected.
That’s why it’s important to consult a podiatrist. They’re the foot expert so they will know how to keep your feet in good shape. If you have warts, calluses, corns, lesions, and even ingrown nails, you will be treated immediately.
These are only some of the reasons why consulting a podiatrist is a must if you’re diabetic. They can help you understand more about how your condition can affect your feet and what must be done to keep them in good condition.