Sugar Matters
April 16, 2010
Marathon finish of our Foot Care Commandments

All-RIGHT! We are near the end of our commandments for good diabetic foot care. In the spirit of forging ahead in time for our planned medical mission trip starting today, Friday 16, we will cover the remaining five commandments this week.

  •  Number 6: Report ANY bruising, change in color, cuts, sores or new odor to your doctor IMMEDIATELY. Many of you would probably call your doctor if your foot continued bleeding, wouldn’t you?{{more}} Or if it kept hurting no matter what you did, correct? Pain and blood seem to be good at getting people to their doctors, but short of those, many folks simply keep on keeping on despite symptoms that point to something worrisome. For diabetics, in particular, a foot/toe that has changed color (especially if darker, bluish-black, or flaming red), or open cuts/sores are symptoms that need attention NOW NOW NOW. Smell is another one. Forget those jokes about stink feet and everyone having them. This is different, and believe me, you will KNOW when a smell is different from normal stink feet. Diabetic feet that have serious infection or dead tissue often have a funny smell, so please also report this to your doctor right away.
  •  Number 7: Ask your doctor to help cut your toenails especially if they are thick or discolored. Ask for help with corns, dead skin and boils. DO NOT LANCE BOILS, TREAT CORNS OR FILE/SAND DEAD SKIN ON YOUR OWN. Yes, I have heard many stories about people sterilizing their needles and knives with disinfectant, alcohol, iodine etc and lancing their boils/corns on their own. If you have an alternative, and most of you do, please DO NOT do this on your own. It is always best to have this done under complete sterile conditions and by a medical professional in order to avoid further infections and damage.
  •  Number 8: Ask your doctor to look at your feet at visits, even if nothing seems wrong. Here is the way to do it: once you get into the doctor’s examination room, start taking off your shoes right away so that your feet are front and centre. Don’t worry about the smell or the old nail polish you have on, just do it. Feet get missed because both you and your doctor are rushed and suddenly needing to take shoes off appears to be a big deal because the clinic visit is almost over. So if you get ready up front, it makes it easier for everyone. And if your doctor seems not to plan on looking at your feet, gently remind him/her to take a look, please.
  •  Number 9: Keep good blood sugar control. Well if you don’t know this one by now, I am not doing a very good job in this weekly article!
  •  Number 10: Watch for strange symptoms or signs. This includes changes in color of your feet, pain in your legs/feet when you raise them or at night, corns, bunions, change in shape of your toes/bones, those strange smells I just talked about, pus or blood in your socks etc. REPORT THESE TO YOUR DOCTOR AS SOON AS POSSIBLE Please do not sit on these types of issues. Take a week to discuss them with your neighbor and everyone at work and church first. In that time, an infection can set in, a toe can completely die and you can become extremely sick.

For good diabetic foot care, prevention is definitely better than cure. But if cure is needed, it should happen quickly for the best outcome.

Okay, I will be seeing hopefully many of you around during my trip! Stay safe and healthy, Vincies!

Anita Ramsetty, MD
[email protected]
Medical Director Endocrine Care Group
Tel: 843-798-4227