Monday, December 28, 2009

Coffee Drinkers Have a Reduced Risk of Type 2 Diabetes!

Coffe Drinkers Rejoice!

December 23, 2009 — High intakes of coffee, decaffeinated coffee, and tea are associated with a reduced risk for type 2 diabetes, according to the results of a meta-analysis reported in the December 14/28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.
"Coffee consumption has been reported to be inversely associated with risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus," write Rachel Huxley, DPhil, of the George Institute for International Health, University of Sydney in Sydney, Australia, and colleagues. "Similar associations have also been reported for decaffeinated coffee and tea. We report herein the findings of meta-analyses for the association between coffee, decaffeinated coffee, and tea consumption with risk of diabetes."

For full article click here.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Foot Padding, Foot Inserts and Foot Appliances Oh My!

Did you know the use of pads, inserts and other foot appliances are a great way to treat many foot problems? With a bit of research and help from your local Certified Pedorthist (C.Ped.), you just might find the right device to aid in resolving your foot issue.

Minor foot problems such as corns, calluses, blisters or other rubbing problems of the foot can easily be treated by an array of products available to you. The trick is to know what product to use and when to use it.

First ensure you know exactly what the issue is with your foot. For minor issues, meet with your local C. Ped. and bring a sampling of your existing shoes. Be prepared to discuss exactly what is happening, the area affected and when or how often the issue is occurring. Your C.Ped. can determine if your existing shoes are appropiate for your foot type and not a contributor to the issue along with recommending over the counter treatment options. If however, the issue is beyond a minor foot problem, you may be recommended to consult your local Podiatrist for further evaluation.

With minor foot issues, there are pads for relief of pressure sores from bunions or hammertoes, or for relief of a heel rubbing against the inside of the heel counter of your shoes. The item may be made of felt with an adhesive backing, but are also available in newer materials such as silicone or a soft, gel type material called viscoelastic polymer.

Some of the over the counter options available are:

Precut simple foam pads can help relieve certain forms of heel pain.
A rubber waffle pattern heel cup can help absorb the shock of heel strike.
Toe spaces, used to reduce symptoms caused by one toe touching another, such as soft corns: or to help maintain a corrected bunion.
Cushions can be used to relieve symptoms of a hammer toe or corns.
Toe caps are used to protect the toes from trauma or aid in the reduction of rubbing or blistering.
Forefoot pads to aid in the reduction of forefoot pain.
Orthotics or inserts to correct biomechanical issues – note, you should always see a professional to ensure you receive the appropiate amount of correction based on your foot type.

As you can see, there are many items to assist you in resolving your foot issue. At Healthy Steps, we provide many options for you to choose. Stop in and meet with our staff to help you step in the right direction this holiday season!

We would also like to thank you for your support and look forward to serving you in the upcoming new year. From the staff at Healthy Steps, we wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday season!

Healthy Steps…..for your feet…for your life!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

So what exactly is a Diabetic ulcer and why is it so bad?

Those with diabetes and their friends and family members have at one point and time heard the term “diabetic ulcer”. And it is usually followed by “that’s why their foot was amputated”. So what is a diabetic ulcer?

An ulcer is any break in the skin that does not heal in a reasonable amount of time, usually a week to 10 days. This can occur anywhere, not just the feet. But for diabetics, the feet are the most common place for ulcerations to occur. This is due to 2 problems: neuropathy and pressure.

Neuropathy is the loss of sensation that can occur with long term or uncontrolled diabetes. Once you cannot feel things like heat, friction or pain, then any area of pressure can form a callus on the foot. When this callus is present for several days to weeks without being treated, the skin under the callus becomes soft and breaks down, resulting in an ulcer. This is now an all access pass for bacteria to enter the body and cause infection. That infection, if left untreated, can cause loss of part or all of the foot or leg.

I often have patients that tell me they attempted to treat the ulcer for several days to weeks before coming in the office. They applied Neosporin and washed it every day, but it just wasn’t getting better. To treat an ulcer effectively, several things need to occur. First and foremost, stop any infection that may be brewing or already started. No ulcer will heal if it is infected. This is done with topical ointments that are more effective at treating infection than Neosporin and antibiotics. Next, removing any tissue that may be harboring bacteria and also slowing down the healing progress of the ulcer. Lastly, take away the pressure. If an ulcer has constant pressure applied, then good healthy skin cannot grow over it to heal. So using special offloading boots or shoes to reduce the pressure is crucial in treating the wound.

Other factors in treating your ulcer include keeping your sugars in control and eating a well balanced diet. With high sugars, the body has a great deal of trouble healing any wound and it has a harder time fighting off infection. Remember….bacteria loves sugar!!

Once the ulcer is healed, the next step is preventing another one. If you haven’t seen a podiatrist and you are diabetic, now is the best time to have those feet checked for any signs that an ulcer could form. If you have had an ulcer in the past and have not seen your podiatrist in over a year, get on the phone and make an appointment! Prevention is the key to saving your feet!