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Podiatrist - Washington
853 Jefferson Ave
Washington, PA 15301
(724) 225-7410
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Posts for category: Diabetes

By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
November 09, 2016
Category: Diabetes
Tags: diabetes awareness  

One in eleven Americans has diabetes but another 86 million are at risk for developing it. At Philip S. Pinsker, DPM we want to help our southwestern PA patients prevent diabetes, a disease which can have devastating consequences for your feet and the rest of your body.

Risk Factors

There are several factors that increase your risk of becoming diabetic. Some of them you cannot control:

Race—African, Mexican and Asian Americans, American Indians, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders all have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Age—as you age, your risk for diabetes increases.

Gender—men have a higher incidence of diabetes than women.

Family History—your risk for diabetes is higher if you have a mother, father, sister or brother who has had the disease.

However, there are several risks that you can reduce and sometimes all takes is minor changes to your current lifestyle. These include:

Being overweight—even losing 10-15 pounds can help reduce your risk. Start small by substituting healthy snacks for high fat and calorie ones, cutting size and keeping a record of what you eat daily.

Physical inactivity—being active helps increase circulation, burn calories and your heart stronger, as well as reducing the risk of diabetes. All types of exercise are helpful: aerobic, strength training, flexibility and just generally being more active throughout your day.

Smoking—increases your risk of diabetes and decreases your circulation, a problem already associated with the disease that can impact your body’s ability to heal wounds, a serious problem for diabetics.

High blood pressure—nearly one in three people have high blood pressure. Known as the “silent killer,” high blood pressure often has no symptoms. Have your blood pressure checked regularly by your doctor. If it’s high, your doctor may recommend medication or other means of reducing it.

If you have more questions about your risk of diabetes, contact our podiatrist, Dr. Philip S. Pinsker in our Washington office by calling: (724) 225-7410.

By Dr. Philip S. Pinsker
August 26, 2015
Category: Diabetes
Tags: Untagged

Patients with diabetes have a significantly higher risk for foot problems. This is because diabetes negatively affects two key systems in the body, the nervous system and the circulatory system. Nerve damage leads to a decreased sensation in the foot which means that the ability to sense pain, heat, and cold are lessened. An injury to the foot can become quite serious before it actually causes pain or discomfort. Also, due to decreased circulation, if an injury does occur it is much slower to heal because of less blood flow to the injured area. Dr. Philip S. Pinsker strongly believes that your podiatrist plays a key role in your diabetes management and that preventative care and early intervention can help you avoid serious complications, as well as increase the quality of life.

Taking a Proactive Role

You have the ability to greatly enhance your foot health. Follow these tips for preventing diabetic foot problems:

  • First and foremost, make thoroughly inspecting your feet part of your daily routine. Report any changes, however minor they may seem, to your foot doctor. These include cuts, blisters, redness, swelling, numbness, or pain.
  • Wash feet everyday with soap and water and dry completely.
  • Moisturize your feet with lotion but don’t put any between your toes—this increases your risk of a fungal infection.
  • Keep feet warm and dry; change socks if they become damp or get wet.
  • Choose footwear wisely. Avoid pointy-toed shoes and high heels, as well as any shoes that rub or put pressure on the foot. If you notice a blister, callus, or corn forming, let your podiatrist know immediately.
  • Trim toenails straight across and avoid cutting the corners to prevent ingrown toenails.

If you have diabetes, call our Washington, PA office at (724) 225-7410 or use our online scheduler to set up an evaluation and let our experienced staff help you set up a preventive care routine today that will help protect your feet for years to come.

 

By Dr. Philip Pinsker
July 21, 2014
Category: Diabetes
Tags: Diabetes   neuropathy   Charcot Foot  

Charcot Foot SymptomsSigns are everywhere and we see and follow them on a daily basis. A red light means to stop, the oil light in your care means a tune-up is due, squinting to see means a visit with the eye doctor is in order, and an off key indicates the piano needs to be tuned. Signs and symptoms in your feet mean something, too, and are worth checking out. This is especially important when you have diabetes and need to pay attention to signs of Charcot foot.

The reason we want you to pay close attention to your foot health when you have diabetes is that poor circulation and nerve damage (neuropathy) can make injuries and problems go unnoticed and turn serious quickly. Charcot foot often goes unrecognized, and then a patient has severe, sometimes debilitating complications. Know the signs and symptoms so you can maintain your foot health and avoid life-altering consequences.

The most prevalent sign you want to watch for is swelling of your foot. With Charcot foot, weakened bones due to poor circulation can fracture. Neuropathy can lead you to continue walking on broken bones without knowing it, further compounding the injury and causing more damage.  Swelling can happen without an obvious or known injury, but it is an indication that something is going on within the structure your foot. Redness is another symptom to look for in addition to the swelling, and they often occur simultaneously. Even with some nerve damage, you may also feel pain, and that is a sign that you need to have your foot examined at our office.

If you have diabetes and have any concerns at all about your foot health, or notice a new symptom happening, do not wait to seek treatment. Call Philip S. Pinsker, DPM in Washington, PA at (724) 225-7410 or request an appointment online.

Photo Credit: How Soon Ngu via Unsplash.com

By Dr. Philip Pinsker
April 30, 2014
Category: Diabetes

Best Exercises for DiabeticsDiabetes is a serious disease where there are elevated blood sugars, also known as blood glucose levels, within the body. If you are suffering from diabetes it is important to stay active and create a daily exercise routine. Diabetes can attack your nerve system resulting in poor blood circulation and a decrease in sensitivity throughout your body.

Your feet can be one of the most targeted places on your body to suffer a decrease in your circulatory system as well as nerve damage. This means that if your foot is punctured in any way you may not be able to feel it, which can result in serious injuries as well as bacterial and fungal infections. It is important that people with diabetes go the extra mile, not only paying extra attention to what you put in your body, but also looking for ways to stay active throughout your day.

Follow our helpful tips to stay active, which include the following:

Break Up Your Exercise

On average, it’s best for you to exercise for at least 30 minutes a week for at least five days every week. With your busy schedule it can be hard to find a whole 30 minute time block dedicated to exercise. We recommend that you break up your exercise into either two 15 minute exercise sessions or three 10 minute sessions, but no less. This can make it easier to not only find the time, but make the time.

Go for a Walk

Walking can be a great way to stay active and lose weight because it is so easy and natural. It is also a great exercise if you are looking to cut costs. A great way to insert walking into your daily routine is to dedicate a walk after every meal. Walking off a meal can keep you active and feeling great.

Take a Class

Some people prefer exercising in the privacy of their own home, but physical activity can be a great way to socialize. Signing up for a class makes you part of a team and you will feel more inclined to attend each week. This keeps you motivated and dedicated to working out on a daily and weekly basis, which is extremely important to staying active.

Exercise can help increase your heart and blood circulation throughout your entire body, which is especially important to people with diabetes. Staying active keeps your muscles from tightening, can improve your breathing rate, and keeps you fit and healthy. If you are looking for more ways to stay active, or are suffering from foot complications due to your diabetes, contact our office at (724) 225-7410 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Phil Pinsker.

Photo Credit: thephotoholic via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

By Dr. Philip Pinsker
April 30, 2014
Category: Diabetes

A person living with diabetes has a lot to manage. Aside from a good diet, exercise and keeping blood sugar levels under control, foot care is also a top priority. Many diabetics suffer with diabetic nerve damage in their feet, compromising their ability to feel pain, heat or cold. The nerve damage and loss of feeling often makes the patient unable to feel an injury.

Foot sores, or ulcers, for example are a common diabetic injury seen at our podiatric office in Washington, PA. Often on the ball of the foot or the bottom of the big toe, sores may not be noticed or even painful due to loss of sensation in the foot. If left untreated, sores can become infected and lead to possible amputation.

In an effort to help diabetics with preventative foot care, there has been some research done on the sensitivity to heat in diabetic feet. It has been found that there is often a noticeable increase in temperature at the site of the sore during the week prior. Patients who monitored their foot temperature in several places on a daily basis were far less likely to get foot sores.

As with many foot conditions, prevention is often the best medicine. For diabetics, performing routine foot checks for injuries or unusual symptoms can prevent very serious injury and complications. Talk to Dr. Pinsker if you are diabetic and are interested in knowing more about the best ways to prevent foot problems. Contact his podiatric office at (724) 225-9469.