As of 2013, 7% of the population in King County alone suffered from Diabetes. In Washington State as a whole, this figure jumps to 9%. The Greater Seattle Metropolitan Area is home to some of the Nation’s top Diabetic professionals and many of the challenges faced by patients with diabetes can be avoided with regular preventive care. A team approach involving communication between your primary diabetic care provider and Dr. Saam or Dr. Higashi, involving thorough examinations and treatment, as well as diligent daily care at home is the best way to keep your feet healthy.
National health guidelines recommend a yearly visit to a podiatrist for diabetics with low-risk feet, and as frequently as every one to two months for patients with high-risk feet. Talk with one of our doctors about what is right for you.
What is Peripheral Neuropathy and what can be done for it?
If you have experienced numbness or tingling in your feet, you may have “peripheral neuropathy”, or reduced sensation in your feet. You should not be trimming your own toenails and calluses, which can damage surrounding skin and lead to infection. Most routine foot care is covered by your insurance to be done by a podiatrist if you have neuropathy. We will evaluate your nervous system as part of your full examination and discuss what your options are.
Are Your Shoes Adequate?
All diabetics need well-fitting shoes which do not cause any areas of the feet to receive increased pressure. Corns and calluses can be indications of high-pressure areas, and may damage the underlying skin if not treated, potentially leading to ulcers. If you have bunions, hammertoes, or otherwise difficult-to-fit feet, you may be at increased risk as well.
Having your feet measured each time you purchase shoes is important. Diabetics frequently are found to be in shoes which are too small for them, often secondary to poor sensation in their feet. Custom orthotics and shoes are often covered for diabetics under most insurance plans, including Medicare. During your podiatric examination, the health of your nerves, blood flow, and skin are evaluated, and we can help you to receive the appropriate footwear.
Common Diabetic Problems that we treat every day at our Bellevue Office Include:
- Toenail disorders
- Poor circulation
Custom orthotics, when indicated, are personally casted in the office. If custom shoes are recommended, our preferred provider is the Hanger Clinic in Bellevue, where you will be professionally measured and fit for shoes and inserts by a certified prosthetist/orthotist.