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Tuesday, 21 November 2017 00:00

How Diabetes Can Change Your Lifestyle

Oftentimes, by the time you are diagnosed with diabetes, you have had to make some changes to maintain a healthy blood sugar level. The following are ways in which diabetes can change your lifestyle and tips keep your body healthy.

  • You should plan ahead: Because eating, medication, and rest are important to diabetic care, you should try to plan your days out in advance, especially if you are traveling. You may not always have access to healthy food (or any food at all), so you should always carry around something in case your blood sugar levels dip. Don’t forget to have the right amount of medication and plan for periods of rest.
  • You need to change your diet: Avoid foods that are fried, high in sugar, high in fat, high in carbohydrates, and high in sodium. For example, nachos, juices, sodas, fast food, sweet desserts, donuts, and deep-fried Chinese foods. Do some research into healthier alternatives so that you do not feel like you are completely deprived.
  • You must be mindful of blood sugar levels and medication: This is crucial to preventing diabetes-related complications. Immediate effects include feeling tired or overwhelmed when blood sugar levels are high, as well as feeling weak when levels are low. Forgetting medication can mean diabetic shock or hypoglycemia, which can have severe effects. Use phone alarms and educate friends and family to help you with reminding you to test blood sugar levels, as well as about symptoms of high or low blood sugar levels.
  • You need to change your habits: Regular exercise can help control blood sugar levels and encourage your body to use insulin properly. Plan to engage in regular physical activity at least 3 times a week. Additionally, stop smoking as it can make nerve and circulatory related problems worse.
  • You should track and manage stress: Stress can make your blood sugar spike, so keep track of triggers. Avoid them and learn to deal with them through breathing techniques, meditation, and activities like yoga. 
  • You should check in with your feet daily: Diabetes can affect other parts of the body, like the kidney and eyes. The feet, in particular can be affected by nerve damage (with loss of feeling sometimes even being the first sign of diabetes for some patients). See our podiatrist at the first sign of neuropathy or wound healing issues.
  • You must get shoes that are protective, supportive, and comfortable: To prevent further foot issues, from slow-healing injuries and calluses to infected ulcers, it’s important that your feet are protected and supported. For some who are experiencing pain from nerve damage, custom orthotics may be necessary – and we can help!

Have issues with your feet due to diabetes? Here are some additional tips. For problems, consult with our podiatrist, Dr. Jonathan M. Kletz, at Texas Foot Works. He will assess your feet and ankles to properly diagnose and treat any issue you may have. Make an appointment today at any of our Abrams (Dallas)Athens, and Gun Barrell City, TX offices!

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Athletes are far too familiar with the fact that some of the most common foot and ankle injuries happen while participating in sports. However, they are not the only ones at risk. Trips, falls, ankle twists, and overuse injuries can happen to anyone, at any time. That’s why it’s important for all of us to take steps to reduce our risk of footand ankle injuries.

Try doing some of the following foot flexibility exercises whenever you have the chance. Some of them can be done while watching TV, while doing chores, and even as a fun “challenge” so that you can get your children involved too. Since they are still growing, it’s important that they are safe from injury to prevent developmental issues as their bones and joints set.

Stretching Activities

  • While sitting, make circles with your feet. Rotate at the ankles to release any tension they might be holding. Point your feet and flex your feet.
  • Spread your toes as wide as they can, hold, and then release. Do several repetitions of these.

Strengthening Activities

  • Face a sturdy object such as a heavy couch or wall. With your heel planted, put your toes up on the object and lean forward. Hold, then release.
  • Now put your foot on the ground with the outside of the ankle against the object and try to push against it. Hold, then release. Try this with all 4 sides of your feet.
  • Try walking on the 4 sides of the feet: tip toe, heels, and 2 outer edges.
  • Exercise the toes by challenging them to pick up, move, and gently lay objects down. Use small towels or marbles, for example.

Balancing Activities

  • It’s important to encourage your feet and ankles to develop balance and spatial awareness to react to uneven ground. Try balancing on one foot with the other foot gently placed against the balancing ankle. You can challenge yourself by raising the other foot to the knee or inside the thigh.
  • Another way to do this is to stand on a balance ball (with one flat side), and you can start by trying to balance on 2 feet.

Always use protective footwear and gear. Use shoes that are appropriate for the activity to prevent injury. Finally, if you have a job where you stand or have to walk a lot each day, you may want to invest in orthotic shoes that are supportive and cushioned to prevent overuse injuries.

Do you have a sports injury? Or do you think you can benefit from custom orthotics? Then consult with our podiatrist, Dr. Jonathan M. Kletz, at Texas Foot Works. He will assess your children’s feet and ankles to properly diagnose and treat any issues. Make an appointment today at any of our Abrams (Dallas)Athens, and Gun Barrell City, TX offices!

Published in Blog
Friday, 10 November 2017 00:00

Babies Born With Clubfoot

After months of carrying a baby, and then hours of laboring, the last thing parents want to hear is that the baby has an issue. The delicate (but resilient!) infant has so much to face in the coming days, months, and years, that a complication is upsetting. So when the baby has a congenital birth defect, such as clubfoot, it’s only natural that parents would be worried. But we’re here to tell you that clubfoot is one problem that can easily be identified and solved.

Soon after birth, clubfoot can be easily identified when a foot (or both feet) is turned or twisted out of shape. This can be caused by developmental position in the uterus, short tendons, low amniotic fluid, or other hereditary factor. It can seem worse than it is, but rest assured – it’s almost immediately treatable!

Treating Clubfoot with the Ponseti Method

The most commonly used method for treating clubfoot is called the Ponseti method. The method uses the fact that babies are still very flexible and still growing and developing after birth. The following steps are involved:

  1. Weekly sessions of moving and stretching the feet and/or ankles.
  2. At the end of each session, casting the feet in a position that is closer to normal positioning.
  3. Between sessions, the cast remains on the child’s feet to prevent them from going back to clubfoot position.
  4. As the baby’s feet get closer to normal positioning, there are assessments done for changing from casting to bracing, and whether or not they need minor surgeries to lengthen or shorten tendons.
  5. Some children may take longer to set properly and eventually may need more surgery to achieve the final positioning correct. They may also need custom orthotic shoes to help keep the proper shape for development as the bones harden and muscles and tendons get stronger.

If, for some reason, clubfoot is not treated as soon as they are diagnosed, babies will likely have problems learning to use their feet, especially when learning to crawl or walk. Eventually they will need to have major surgeries to reset bones in their proper position.

If your baby has or had clubfoot, regular appointments with our podiatrists will help maintain proper development of their feet and ankles. If your children need custom orthotics, consult with our podiatrist, Dr. Jonathan M. Kletz, at Texas Foot Works. He will assess your children’s feet and ankles to properly diagnose and treat the issue. Make an appointment today at any of our Abrams (Dallas)Athens, and Gun Barrell City, TX offices!

Published in Blog
Friday, 03 November 2017 00:00

Diabetes Awareness: American Diabetes Month

Do you know just how common Diabetes is? According to the Center for Disease Control, about 29.1 million adults in the US have diabetes, about 5% of them with Type 1 diabetes. Both types have to do with genetics and environmental factors, but the exact cause is still undetermined. 

Do you know what diabetes is?

  • Type 1:  The pancreas stops producing insulin altogether. Insulin is the hormone that controls blood sugar levels, so blood sugar increases and can cause damage.
  • Type 2: The pancreas still produces insulin, but the body cannot use it properly. This also leads to high blood glucose levels.

Do you know that diabetes is manageable?

  • Type 1 diabetics are diagnosed as children or young adults. These diabetics need insulin treatment in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise.
  • Type 2 diabetics may be diagnosed later (older than 45), and some can control diabetes just by making changes to diet and exercise. Others may need oral medication and insulin therapy to supplement lifestyle changes.
  • See the risk factors below and make lifestyle changes to reduce risks.

Do you know that you might be more at risk if:

  • You are overweight.
  • You smoke and engage in other unhealthy habits.
  • You lead a sedentary or inactive lifestyle.
  • You have high blood glucose, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
  • You have had gestational diabetes, which can lead to type 2 diabetes later in life.

Do you know that diabetes affects the feet?

  • Diabetic neuropathy can be the result of high blood sugar levels. Nerves are damaged and you lose feeling, mostly in the legs and feet.
  • Numbness or tingling in the feet are often the first signs of diabetes.
  • Diabetic neuropathy can also decrease blood flow and cause poor circulation in the feet, making it harder to detect and heal infections and injuries.

Now that you know, don’t forget to check your feet every day. If you have noticed numbness or tingling in your feet, it’s important that you consult with our podiatrist, Dr. Jonathan M. Kletz, at Texas Foot Works. He will assess your feet and ankles to properly diagnose the issue. Make an appointment today at any of our Texas offices in Abrams (Dallas)Athens, and Gun Barrell City!

Published in Blog
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