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Podiatrist - Washington
853 Jefferson Ave
Washington, PA 15301
(724) 225-7410
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Posts for: January, 2010

Diabetes has become one of our country's largest systemic diseases. Recent numbers from the American Diabetes Association have shown that over 17 million Americans have diabetes and it is predicted that 5 million of these have yet to be diagnosed. Many conditions can be derived from diabetes and today we'll go over peripheral neuropathy and some tips for healthy control of diabetes.

Peripheral neuropathy is medical diction for saying that there is a malfunction in the way the nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord are functioning. Diabetes, especially type II, plays a huge factor in the development of this condition. Elevated blood sugars affect many parts of the body. Prolonged blood sugar elevation acts on the nerves going to our hands and feet by affecting their layers of insulation and the way they conduct. This can further manifest into loss of good circulation due to damage to the nerves that control the body's blood vessels. The initial onset of peripheral neuropathy usually consists of a prolonged tingling or numbness in the hands or feet. This can escalate to fiery, burning extremities as well as becoming a stepping-stone for major infections and illness.

Peripheral neuropathy is obviously a condition that should be avoided at all costs. Controlling blood sugar levels is the most important factor in delaying and avoiding peripheral neuropathy. Not enough can be said about how important proper diet and exercise are to the control of diabetes. Next time you see a physician, make sure to ask for tips on both of these attributes while considering your own personal health situation. Medical treatment is also very important in the maintenance of diabetes. The United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study is a must read for any diabetic. This extensive study shows that by maintaining a high level of control over both blood sugar level and blood pressure, many manifestations of diabetes could be avoided.

Have some more questions? Feel free to leave any questions or comments below and be sure to check out some of these helpful websites.
Mayo Clinic on Diabetic Neuropathy

Neuropathy Info from foot.com


Winter can trigger many types of foot problems, and this week I'll discuss the symptoms of cold feet. Cold extremities can be caused by a host of factors, but they all have one thing in common, the annoyance of dealing with cold feet throughout the day. One of the first steps in treating the symptoms of cold feet is to figure out what can be causing them. Most people with chronic icicles for toes can trace their symptoms back to peripheral vascular disease, smoking, peripheral neuropathy, Reynaud's phenomenon, or other nutritional problems. Managing these processes usually takes more than home remedies and you should make an appointment to see your podiatric or primary physician for more advice and treatment options. That being said, here are some helpful home remedies that might bring some heat back to your feet!
Help from the Herring
Omega-3 fatty acids have been recently linked to helping prevent blood vessel spasms and the shutdown of blood flow that follows. Some fish that are high in these fatty acids are salmon, mackerel, anchovies, and herring. These fatty acids are also helpful in reducing triglycerides, which also can be instrumental in preventing heart disease. Eat up these coldwater fish to help keep your blood flowing when it gets cold outside.
Iron and Vitamin C
Women tend to suffer more from cold extremities than men. A possible correlation can be associated to women who have low iron levels. Depleted iron levels can lead to a lower core body temperature, and this leads to colder extremities. Make sure to seek a diet high in iron and remember to get your fill of vitamin C as well. Vitamin C aids in the body's absorption of iron.
Keeping Hydrated
Dehydration acts on your body by lowering your total blood volume. By decreasing this, the body's ability to self-regulate temperature is also affected. To stay hydrated throughout the day, keep a bottle of water with you to remind yourself to drink up.
It's All in the Materials
Socks can play a major role in keeping your feet nice and warm this winter. Try to stay away from cotton, as it tends to hold onto moisture. Wool or synthetic blends are best as they can retain heat as well as allow moisture to evaporate.
Keeping your feet warm is important not only for your comfort but also for overall health. Hope some of these tips help you keep warm this winter!


As the winter months keep on rolling, one problem can really put a damper on the health of your feet. Of course we are talking about dry, cracked, and painful skin! Cracked heels and other areas of your feet are not only painful, but can also lead to other problems such as infections. So let's get into some things that you can do at home to combat it.

It's no coincidence that dry cracked feet show up when the thermometer drops down. Mother nature has her own way of making the winter months the ideal situation for drying out the skin on your feet. Obviously the dry cold air outside has an effect on drying out your skin, but its actually the air inside that can have an even greater effect. With the central heating coming on, the moisture in the air inside can drop greatly. A simple trick to alleviate this is to plug in an air humidifier in a central location. There's no need to run it all day, just an hour or two on low can greatly help put some moisture back in the air.

After a long, cold day, a hot shower can seem like a nice way to unwind. But be careful, the longer you stay in the shower and the hotter the water, the more likely that shower will lead to dry skin. Dry skin is a result of not enough moisture in the layer of your skin called the stratum corneum. Your skin needs the protective oils it creates on the surface of the skin in order to maintain that moisture. By taking the long hot shower, you are actually washing away these critical oils. Try to keep the shower to less than ten minutes and keep the temperature at a warm, but not hot, level. Certain soaps such as Dove or Cetaphil can be tried as well, in order to keep the critical oils where they should be-on your skin and not down the drain!

Moisturizing creams should be used liberally and frequently. If you are diabetic, remember to stay away from getting lotion in between the toes as this can kick start other complications.

If you have suffered from dry, cracked skin for a while, and nothing has seemed to work, make the time to take care of your health and schedule an appointment with your local podiatrist. Lingering bacterial infections may be the cause of some types of dry, cracked skin and can last for years. Start your new year off right and give yourself the gift of good health from head to toe!

Here is a link to a useful article on skin care in the winter from the University of Iowa. University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics