If You Have Diabetes, You’ve Got to Stay Active!

Many people who suffer from diabetes are concerned about engaging in vigorous physical activity or exercise, and that’s understandable. One of the most challenging aspects of diabetes is how it makes a person more susceptible to injury, especially in the lower legs and feet. Today, our podiatrist, Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists is sharing information to alleviate your worries.

If you’re suffering from neuropathy and/or poor circulation, it can be easy to overlook a minor injury for so long that it becomes a bigger problem.

Regular exercise is a critical part of diabetes treatment and management. Engaging in an active lifestyle has major benefits for a person living with diabetes, including, but not limited to:

  • Weight loss;
  • Improved sugar regulation;
  • Better blood pressure and cholesterol regulation;
  • Improved blood flow to the feet;
  • Cells that are more efficient at absorbing nutrients.

Getting (or staying) in shape and living an active life is one of the best ways to keep your condition from worsening, and therefore preventing complications.

As a diabetic, you should be active but do so safely and responsibly

One element of this approach is the activities you select. Depending on the seriousness of any circulatory or neuropathy problems, running or high-impact sports might not be the best choice for you.

However, there are much lower-impact strength, aerobic, and range-of-motion exercises you can perform, including bicycling (outdoor or stationary), brisk walking, weight training, and swimming.

Another component is protection – you should always make sure you’ve got the proper gear for your activity. That includes comfortable shoes that breathe well, fit correctly, and are a good fit for the activities or sports you’ll be engaging in.

Lastly, determine how the exercise is affecting your sugar levels and prepare accordingly. That means always testing yourself before, during (if possible) and after exercising, at regular intervals. Stay hydrated, and pack some quick-acting carbs in the event if your sugar level gets too low. A great idea is to document how your sugar level varies with different activities, so you know what to expect going forward.

You should aim for at least 30 uninterrupted minutes of moderate exercise and stay active throughout the day. Try not to remain sedentary for long stretches of time.

If you have any additional questions regarding your diabetic foot care and how your activity level may be affecting it, call the office of Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists today at (425) 455-0936 to schedule a consultation.

Is Your Child Experiencing Any of These Common Foot Conditions?

Similar to adults, children can suffer an assortment of problems with their feet and ankles. Many of these problems, such as flat feet, are hereditary, while problems such as heel pain are usually caused by an injury.  Today Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists is sharing information regarding the three most common childhood foot ailments.

Because your child’s tendons and bones grow so rapidly, many symptoms related to foot and ankle problems can go undetected. For this reason, it is important that parents are attentive to even the most subtle symptoms. Comprehensive, routine exams of your child’s feet by a podiatrist may reveal a condition or defect and help minimalize problems later in life.

The Most Common Childhood Foot Problems

Children can face a variety of foot issues, many of which disappear as the child’s feet develop. Following are some of the most common problems:

Plantar Warts: These are common particularly during warmer months when children are more likely to be barefoot. Developing on the bottom of the feet, they are caused by a virus, most often in public areas such as locker rooms or pools.  They can be quite uncomfortable because it feels like they are walking on a small pebble or stone; however, it is also treatable and highly avoidable.

Ankle Sprains: These are quite common with active children, especially those who take part in sports. Ankle sprains occur when the ligaments that support the ankle are torn or stretched. With proper treatment, mild sprains can be healed, but severe tearing may require more extensive care. As a rule, rest, ice, compress and elevate (RICE) the child’s ankle immediately.

Ingrown Toenails: These occur when one or both side areas of the toenail start to break through and grow into the soft skin of the toe, leading to infection and painful irritation. Common causes include poorly-fitting footwear, injuries to the toe or improper nail trimming. If identified promptly, a child’s ingrown toenail can be treated with home remedies, but if the pain continues or worsens, treatment by a podiatrist will be needed to remove the infection.

If you notice that your child is constantly rubbing their feet, tripping often, limping or constantly complaining of foot pain, call the office of Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists at (425) 455-0936 today to schedule a consultation. Early attention and treatment are important when identifying many issues.

Diabetic Feet: The Risks and How to Avoid Them

Statistics from the American Diabetes Association indicate that 24 million Americans suffer from diabetes. This disease is also the leading cause of amputations of feet, legs, and toes. Today, our podiatrist Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists outlines some of the risks associated with this disease and some tips for diabetic foot care.

Top 4 Risks for Patients With Diabetic Feet

As a person with diabetes, your feet face distinctive risks. Understanding them is the best way to avoid the common foot problems that come with this disease. Here are some of the most common foot health risks that people with diabetes have to cope with.

  1. Peripheral Arterial Disease: This disease reduces circulation and limits the amount of blood flow that reaches your feet, sometimes causing serious side effects.
  2. Infections: Blisters and abrasions are more dangerous for people with diabetes because blood flow to the feet is restricted so cuts cannot heal properly.
  3. Neuropathy: When your nerves do not function correctly, neuropathy occurs. This is particularly dangerous because if a patient cannot feel blisters or abrasions, they are at a higher risk of infection.
  4. Charcot Foot: This condition causes your foot to change its shape and is usually caused by fragile bones that break and collapse.

Daily Tips to Care For Your Diabetic Foot

With proper daily care, you can reduce the risk of having a foot ulcer or infection. Following are some tips to help maintain your healthy feet every day.

  • Make it a habit of inspecting your feet each day for cuts, sores or red spots.
  • Keep your feet clean and dry, paying particular attention to the area between your toes.
  • Wear socks around the house to keep your feet warm.
  • Exercise – it’s the best way to encourage blood flow to your feet.
  • Do not cut your toenails around the corners to avoid getting an ingrown toenail; instead, cut them straight across.
  • Improve blood circulation by quitting unhealthy habits such as smoking or sitting with your legs crossed for long periods.

If you notice any changes in your feet, it’s essential to visit your podiatrist right away to reduce the chance for infection or a more serious foot problem. Call the office of Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists today at (425) 455-0936 or schedule an appointment online.