According to the National Diabetes Statistics Report, approximately 29.1 million Americans had diabetes in 2012. The total cost for the diagnosis of diabetes was approximately $176 billion dollars for medical costs and $69 billion dollars in reduced productivity.
With this in mind, it is important to make sure that you examine your feet on a daily basis to prevent any foot problems and infections. Your foot care should be performed by a qualified podiatrist to prevent any complications as a result of your diabetes.
Some diabetics suffer from neuropathy, which is damage to your nerves in your feet. Tingling, numbness and burning are often times experienced as a result of this condition. This can be treated with both oral medications and topical creams to help relieve peripheral neuropathy pain and improve nerve function in the feet and legs. After performing a complete neurological examination, your podiatrist may order an EMG (electromyogram) which measures the electrical activity of muscles in your lower extremities or a NCV (nerve conduction velocity) examination to measure how well and how fast the nerves can send electrical signals.
Another complication of diabetes is impaired circulation otherwise known as PAD (peripheral arterial disease). Symptoms of this peripheral vascular disease are numbness in the toes, legs or feet. Leg cramps can increase with activity and non-healing wounds on the feet are also signs of impaired blood flow to the extremities. Your toes may become cold and discolored with a bluish tint along with heaviness to the lower limbs. Peripheral arterial disease is caused by elevated cholesterol levels in the blood, having high blood pressure, smoking along with elevated blood sugar. A non-invasive vascular test is typically used to evaluate your circulation before you may be referred to a vascular physician. These tests are available to help evaluate your diabetic peripheral neuropathy and circulation while you are being treated at Dr. Frenchman’s office.