Posts for: December, 2019
During the cold winter months, more Middlesex and Greater Hartford County patients are asking us at Connecticut Foot Care Centers about Raynaud’s. Below are some answers to help you better understand this condition that can affect your toes and fingers.
Q: Are Raynaud’s Disease and Raynaud’s Phenomenon the same thing?
A: Raynaud’s is a condition where the blood vessels in the feet and hands overreact to the cold, resulting in spasms in the small vessels which cause skin on the extremities to turn red or whitish-blue. It can also cause a prickly or stinging feeling in your toes and fingers as well as numbness. When this disorder occurs on its own, it’s known as Raynaud’s Disease (or Primary Raynaud’s). When it is caused by another condition, it’s called Raynaud’s Phenomenon (or Secondary Raynaud’s).
Q: What causes Raynaud’s?
A: Researchers are not completely sure. In the case of Secondary Raynaud’s, it can occur due to an autoimmune, connective tissue or arterial disease. It can also happen to patients who smoke, take certain medications or have suffered an overuse injury. In some patients, Raynaud’s is triggered by stress.
Q: What should I do if I experience symptoms of Raynaud’s?
A: You should get inside or to a warmer location. Then you can try to slowly warm your toes by wiggling and massaging them or running warm (not hot water) over them. If this is your first attack of Raynaud’s, make an appointment at one of our six Hartford and Middlesex County offices. Our podiatrists, Jeffrey S. Kahn, D.P.M., Craig M. Kaufman, D.P.M., Ayman M. Latif, D.P.M. and Raffaella R. Pascarella, D.P.M. will examine your feet and get a complete medical history. They will determine if you have Primary or Secondary Raynaud’s and what steps should be taken to minimize the number and severity of the attacks.
Q: What kinds of treatments are available for Raynaud’s?
A: If Raynaud’s exists on its own, the podiatrist may recommend lifestyle changes such as not smoking, increasing the amount of exercise you get and other things that improve circulation. There are also medications, surgery and alternative medicine treatment options available. If Raynaud’s exists in conjunction with another disease, treatment for that condition will need to be determined.
Q: How can I prevent Raynaud’s attacks?
A: Wear multiple pairs of socks to help keep feet warm. Don’t spend prolonged periods of time outdoors when the temperatures are really low. Warm up your car before getting into it on frosty days. Learn how to reduce stress in a healthy way.
If you have additional questions about Raynaud’s or another podiatric problem, don’t hesitate to contact us.
Winter’s officially here in Greater Hartford and Middlesex counties and we at Connecticut Foot Care Centers want to give our patients the information they need to protect their feet and ankles during this chilly season.
Here are four suggestions to keep in mind this winter:
Prevent Frostbite. When your body is exposed to extreme cold for a significant period of time, frostbite can result. Usually, frostbite in your feet will occur in stages: toes may first turn bright red and over time darken to purple or blue and start to feel numb. Wear warm socks or multiple layers of socks if you plan to enjoy an outdoor winter activity. Limit the amount of time spent in the cold. If you suspect frostbite, immerse feet in warm—not hot—water and seek medical assistance immediately.
Avoid spills. Icy sidewalks, snowy parking lots and temperatures that drop suddenly all create the perfect storm for a slip or fall that can end in an ankle sprain or fracture. Wear the appropriate footwear for wintry weather and pay attention to where you’re walking. Icy patches can be difficult to detect in the dark. Keep areas around the entrance to your home cleared, salted and well-lit to avoid falls.
- Keep athlete’s foot away. Wearing heavy winter socks in your heated car, office, and stores can cause feet to perspire excessively. Being stuck in wet socks for long periods of time increases the risk of fungal infections. Dust feet with an anti-fungal powder at the beginning of the day and change your socks as soon as you notice that they feel damp.
- Don’t suffer sports injuries. If you enjoy winter sports like skiing, snowboarding, and ice skating, check your equipment and especially your footwear to make sure they are in good condition and still fit properly. Consider taking a lesson or two if you are new to a sport to learn how to safely stop and navigate in the snow or on the ice. If you do sustain a foot or ankle injury, follow the RICE regimen of Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation, and promptly contact one of our six Hartford and Middlesex County offices.
Our podiatrists Jeffrey S. Kahn, D.P.M., Craig M. Kaufman, D.P.M., Ayman M. Latif, D.P.M. and Raffaella R. Pascarella, D.P.M. will examine your feet and ankles and treat your foot or ankle injury.
A condition that we at Connecticut Foot Care Centers see more frequently in our Hartford and Middlesex County patients at this festive time of the year is gout. This form of arthritis most often affects the joint at the base of the big toe. It strikes men (particularly those between the ages of 40 and 60) more often than women but can occur in either sex at any age.
When an excess amount of uric acid builds up in the body, it can crystallize in a joint, causing the extreme pain that is a telltale symptom of gout. Other signs of this disorder include warmth and redness at the joint along with swelling. The pain may last for 3-4 hours and then subside. However, once you have suffered an attack of gout it is likely to return in the same toe in the future.
Lower Your Risk
There are two reasons why gout is more prevalent during the holiday season. First, your big toe is subject to quite a bit of pressure from normal walking activities. At this time of the year with extra errands, shopping, cooking and socializing, it gets an even greater workout. Another major gout trigger is diet. Certain foods that are often on a holiday menu are known to be high in purines—a substance that when it is broken down in the body produces uric acid. These include:
- Red meat
- Red wine
- Organ meats
- Rich sauces
Limiting or eliminating these foods from your diet can decrease your chances of gout. You should also drink plenty of fluids to help your body eliminate uric acid.
Other factors that increase the likelihood of gout include:
- High blood pressure
- Certain medications and vitamins
If you believe you have had an attack of gout, make an appointment at one of our six Hartford and Middlesex County offices. Our podiatrists Jeffrey S. Kahn, D.P.M., Craig M. Kaufman, D.P.M., Ayman M. Latif, D.P.M. and Raffaella R. Pascarella, D.P.M. will evaluate your feet and take a medical history. If gout is diagnosed, the podiatrist has several treatment options available such as medication, diet modification and specially-made shoes to relieve pain associated with gout.
At Connecticut Foot Care Centers, we know that our greater Hartford and Middlesex County patients are making their holiday gift lists and beginning to search for the perfect gifts for family and friends. We want to remind you that it’s a great time of the year to thank your feet with a little something special. Below are some top suggestions for holiday gifts for your feet.
New Shoes—probably the best preventive measure you can take to keep your feet healthy is wearing shoes that are well designed and fit properly. Heel pain, flat feet, toe deformities like bunions and hammertoes and many other
A Good Moisturizer—overheated homes, offices and stores and dry air all contribute to dry skin in the winter. Applying a rich, emollient lotion or cream to your feet every night and covering them with a pair of soft socks will help prevent painful heel cracks and flaky skin.
Anti-Fatigue Mat—if you spend long hours standing and preparing meals in the kitchen and washing dishes after family meals, or you have a job that requires prolonged periods of standing, consider a
A Podiatric Checkup—too many patients put off getting