Advertisement

How does a podiatrist or foot doctor help people with diabetes?

Dr. Jack Merendino, MD
Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism
A podiatrist or doctor of podiatric medicine (DPM) is a physician and surgeon specializing in foot and ankle care, including the treatment of diabetes-related conditions. People with peripheral neuropathy and sensory loss may get foot ulcers, or calluses that can become ulcerated if they are not treated. Surgery is sometimes necessary to correct a bad bunion or hammertoe to prevent ulcer formation. A podiatrist may trim the toenails of someone who has neuropathy and is at risk of injuring him- or herself. He may prescribe orthotics -- specialized shoe inserts -- or prescription shoes with increased depth in the toe cap to prevent irritation or skin breakdown.
The Best Life Guide to Managing Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes

More About this Book

The Best Life Guide to Managing Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes

Bob Greene has helped millions of Americans become fit and healthy with his life-changing Best Life plan. Now, for the first time, Oprah's trusted expert on diet and fitness teams up with a leading...
Paul N. Clayton, MD
Anesthesiology

A podiatrist is an important part of a team of physicians who manage complications associated with diabetes. Diabetes can affect circulation, nerve sensation (feet go numb or tingly), skin health, and healing wounds and fighting infections. If you have no other complications with your diabetes, an annual foot exam can help detect problems early. Pressure points that turn into calluses can result in foot ulcerations and infections. In growing or fungal toenails can lead to infections as well. Some patients require foot care every 2-3 months to avoid problems with their feet and closely monitor for problems. A podiatrist can assess shoes and even prescribe shoes and orthoses for your feet that will help prevent these complications and accommodate a deformity like hammertoes and bunions. If you have had a wound on your foot of some kind, this can help keep it from recurring. Podiatrists are also trained in surgical correction of many deformities and acquired foot problems.

Continue Learning about Diabetes Complications

How to Break the Link Between Diabetes and Cancer
How to Break the Link Between Diabetes and Cancer
Diabetes. We know many of you get anxious about it because it can lead to heart attack, blindness, gastrointestinal problems, depression, kidney dysfu...
Read More
How does diabetes affect my risk for kidney disease?
American Diabetes AssociationAmerican Diabetes Association
If you have diabetes, you're at risk for kidney disease, also called diabetic nephropathy. In fact, ...
More Answers
10 Complications of Diabetes
10 Complications of Diabetes10 Complications of Diabetes10 Complications of Diabetes10 Complications of Diabetes
Other conditions can arise after a diabetes diagnosis. Know how you can stay healthy.
Start Slideshow
Why Is Diabetes So Devastating?
Why Is Diabetes So Devastating?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.