Having a Better Understanding of Diabetic Podiatrists

Posted on: 27 November 2019

Before understanding what a diabetic podiatrist does, you should first be able to differentiate between an orthopaedics and a podiatrist.

Orthopaedics are specialists who handle conditions of the bones and joints of your entire body and might have more skills than podiatrists. Podiatrists mostly handle problems related to your feet and ankles. The majority of orthopaedics can handle surgery, but not all podiatrists can.

Podiatrists have different specialisations; for example, you can come across a sports podiatrist, diabetic podiatrist, neuro-podiatrist, dermatological podiatrist, etc. Most of the time, you might not know which podiatrist to see, but don't worry--the first step is usually to see your general doctor, who refers you to the specialist you need to see. This article concentrates on diabetic podiatrists.

Who Is a Diabetic Podiatrist?

A diabetic podiatrist handles the foot conditions of people with diabetes. If you have diabetes, you should know that if you do not take good care of your feet, your leg might be amputated because of irreversible foot damage. Why?

If your diabetes is not managed or controlled, you might likely lose feeling to your feet due to nerve damage. If this happens, you may be unable to feel heat, cold or pain, meaning that if you stepped in extremely hot water, you would not feel any pain, but you would, of course, get severely burned. Additionally, if a sore or blister was to form under your foot, you would not feel any pain and, therefore, not even notice its presence. Left untreated, a sore can cause a severe infection. The only way to treat a severe infection in your foot that is not responding to medication may be to cut it off before it kills you.

You should also know that unmanaged diabetes can compromise the flow of blood in your body. Blood transports important materials needed by organs, which include healing compounds. If these compounds do not reach an injury, healing is delayed, leading to infection.

What Does a Diabetic Podiatrist Do?

The first thing a diabetic podiatrist does is inspect your feet. He or she checks whether there are any issues of concern, and from there, you can receive further guidance. If nothing is found, you are asked whether you know how to take care of your feet, and if you do not, you are shown how. If something is found, a treatment or management plan is created to prevent the worsening of the condition.