Diabetes has been labeled a health care crisis in the United States, as nearly 10% of the population has already been diagnosed, and its prevalence is increasing by 5% annually. Dr. Benjamin Van Pham, DPM specializes in providing expert diabetic foot care to patients in Lincoln and Roseville, California, helping them prevent or manage the very serious complications that can develop in their feet. For more information on diabetic foot care, call the office or use the online scheduling tool.
Diabetes is a chronic disease that hampers your ability to regulate the levels of glucose in your system because of insufficient insulin or insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone that’s produced by your pancreas, and its job is to deliver glucose (energy for your cells) to where it needs to go and cart off the excess.
Without enough insulin or because of insulin resistance, sugars build up in your bloodstream, which can lead to problems with circulation and nerve damage.
This nerve damage, which is called diabetic neuropathy, typically occurs in peripheral areas, and the nerve that is furthest from your brain initally, such as your feet.
The most common signs of diabetic neuropathy include night time pain (pins and needles, burning or stabbing), as well as the loss of sensation in your feet. In more serious cases, you may develop diabetic ulcers, which are open wounds, due to the breakdown of calluses going unnoticed from diabetic neuropathy; putting you at great risk for infection and even amputation.
Another complication of diabetes that can affect your feet is diabetic dermopathy, which typically shows up as discoloration in your shins and lower legs. In some cases, the development of diabetic dermopathy may precede the diagnosis of diabetes by several years.
Because your feet are in the direct line of fire when you have diabetes, Dr. Van Pham is able to recognize any potential condition that might compromise your feet. Even calluses, corns, and ingrown toenails present problems for diabetics, and they can lead to dangerous infections, which is why you need regular diabetic foot care.
Through diabetic foot care, Dr. Van Pham regularly checks your feet to spot any problems and intervenes before an infection takes hold to prevent amputation.
While Dr. Van Pham can help monitor your foot health, there are some ways you can do your part at home, including:
There are other lifestyle changes you should make, such as quitting smoking, which Dr. Van Pham reviews with you.
For comprehensive diabetic foot care, call Dr. Benjamin Van Pham, DPM, or request an appointment using the online scheduling tool.