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Imagine you were recently diagnosed with diabetes. Your doctor tells you all about what life changes to make, in addition to your new medical treatments, to help reduce the negative side effects of diabetes and decrease your vulnerability to other conditions that can be easily developed when you have diabetes. What if there were simple steps you could take to not only help maintain your diabetes better but also reduce your risk of developing other issues and diseases associated with diabetes? One of those diseases is called gout, which is a form of arthritis that more commonly affects people with diabetes.
As a disease, gout is triggered by excessive amounts of uric acid in your body. Gout causes uric acid to turn into crystals that form in and around the joints in our bodies. Most often, these crystals are formed within the joints of our feet, ankles, and toes. Uric acid crystals cause inflammation that leads to swelling and painfulness in the affected joint, leaving it tender and warm to the touch.
Even with diabetes, there are three simple things you can do on a daily basis to not only help manage your diabetes but decrease your susceptibility to developing gout as well!
Drink More Water - This seems like a no brainer, yet almost everyone forgets to drink enough water on a daily basis. Drink what feels right for you, but be consistent. Staying hydrated helps prevent the build-up of uric acid by breaking it down before it can form.
Drink Less Alcohol - We get it, alcohol is fun! This isn’t to say you can’t drink once in a while, but when it comes to drinking alcohol a few times per week, you run into trouble. Alcohol is not only high in calories but it can actually reduce our ability to fight off inflammatory uric acid buildup in our bodies.
Exercise More Often - For most people, a simple mile-long walk around your neighborhood or a local park will do. Change it up and go to different locations with more difficult walking paths! Exercise keeps your joints mobile and lubricated, reducing your risk of building up uric acid.
Don’t forget to check in with Dr. Jeffrey S. Kahn, Dr. Craig M. Kaufman, Dr. Ayman M. Latif, or Dr. Raffaella R. Pascarella at your next visit to Connecticut Foot Care Centers when you notice any new symptoms or foot problems arising. Contact us today to schedule an appointment at one of our six locations across Rocky Hill, Bristol, Middletown, Glastonbury, Newington, and Kensington, Connecticut!
Are you wondering if what you’re experiencing might be some form of tendinitis? When it comes to Achilles tendinitis, the signs and symptoms can be achingly clear to those who develop this problem. Our Achilles tendon is a band of tissue connecting your heel bone to your calf muscles, stretching along the backside of our legs.
Achilles tendinitis is characterized by three common symptoms:
- Experiencing pain after physical activity, like stair climbing, running, or jumping
- Delayed onset of pain after trying a new activity or increasing the intensity of a previous activity you frequently engaged in
- Feeling an aching pain above the back of your heel and/or up along the back of your leg
These types of symptoms can occur as a result of repetitive injury or overuse of the Achilles tendon. Some folks are more vulnerable to developing Achilles tendinitis than others for various different reasons:
- Frequently running or jogging
- Being obese or out of shape
- Developing fallen arches or flat feet
- Starting an intense exercise regimen too quickly
- Spending most of your week being sedentary, but a day or two being very active
- Aging or being over 30 years of age
- Having a combination of the risk factors previously mentioned
Often, Achilles tendinitis is easily treated at home. In rare cases, Achilles tendinitis becomes severe enough that it might completely rupture, which requires surgical correction. In the event that your Achilles tendinitis bothers you longer than a few weeks or persists even after rest and treatment at home, you’re officially overdue for a visit to the podiatrist. With the help of Dr. Jeffrey S. Kahn, Dr. Craig M. Kaufman, Dr. Ayman M. Latif, or Dr. Raffaella R. Pascarella at Connecticut Foot Care Centers, you can learn about easy ways to treat and prevent Achilles tendinitis. Most importantly, this includes reducing your high impact activities, taking it slow when starting a new exercise regimen, and making sure your shoes are supportive and foot-friendly. Contact us today to schedule your next appointment at one of our 6 locations in Rocky Hill, Bristol, Middletown, Glastonbury, Newington, and Kensington, Connecticut.
Did the holidays run your feet ragged this year? It might be time to treat yourself to an at-home pedicure! Running from Christmas party to party and rushing around shopping for gifts for everyone on your list can be tough on your feet. An at-home pedicure is a great way to start the New Year on the right foot (pun intended!). It prevents fungal infections by ensuring that the tools touching your toes are properly sanitized and up to your hygiene standards, plus it’s a great way to relax.
Follow these tips for a satisfying and relaxing at-home pedicure:
- Remove any existing nail polish from your toes using cotton balls and a dab of nail polish remover.
- Soften and clean your toes and feet by soaking them in warm, soapy water. Gently scrub them with a cloth and rinse them off.
- Use a pumice stone or a file to gently exfoliate layers of dead skin from your heel and the ball of your foot.
- Trim your toenails properly to avoid ingrown toenails, cutting them close but not too close and straight across. A good length is approximately as long as the nail bed. Use a file to smooth out rough edges.
- Push or trim overgrown cuticles. Be extra careful not to tear or scrape them to avoid any cuts that could lead to infection. If you’re a patient with diabetes, it might be best to skip this step to be cautious!
- Moisturize your feet with your favorite lotion. Spend extra time massaging tense areas. A great way to do this is to roll a tennis ball or water bottle under your foot.
- Lastly, remove excess moisture from your nails and apply your nail polish of choice. Make sure you leave plenty of time for the polish to dry before putting on shoes and socks.
An at-home pedicure party is a fantastic way to spend an afternoon with your friends too!
If you notice anything off with your feet during an at-home pedicure, it’s time to call us. Our team of foot doctors here at Connecticut Foot Care Centers is equipped with a wealth of knowledge and resources in caring for any foot or ankle issue. We provide the best in foot and ankle care and utilize the newest diagnostic and treatment techniques and technologies. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff has unparalleled experience and can help you at any of our six conveniently located Connecticut offices. Request an appointment today!
As winter weather sets in, it can bring with it a myriad of unpleasant symptoms, one of which being cracked heels. Colder temperatures often lead to dry, parched skin that can be uncomfortable and unsightly. Your heels are especially susceptible to cracks, especially if you have other underlying conditions like diabetes.
What causes heels to crack?
- Cold, dry climates
- Standing for extended periods of time
- Increased weight, either through obesity or a temporary gain such as through pregnancy
- Poor circulation
- Walking barefoot everywhere or wearing only open-backed shoes
- Skin conditions like fungal infections or psoriasis
- An unhealthy diet deficient in the proper minerals and vitamins
How can I relieve these symptoms of cracked heels?
Typically, a home remedy can improve minor cracked heels, but if you’re experiencing severe or recurring conditions, or if you have diabetes, you should consult with your foot care specialist for the best treatment options. If you are experiencing cracked heels this winter, try these tips:
- Moisturize your heels with a thick ointment or an oil-based balm twice daily
- Rub the thickened areas on your heel with a pumice stone
- Stay hydrated and make sure you’re eating a healthy diet
- Increase your intake of essential fatty acids
- Protect your feet with socks
Cracked heels left untouched can quickly become infected and painful. If you notice your heels bleeding or if they’re not healing after trying some home remedies, it’s time to call in the professionals. A podiatrist can help you recover more quickly, and can check for any underlying issues. Podiatrists can help by removing excess skin that might be contributing to your heels cracking, and can suggest proper topical creams that will help keep your skin moist and crack-free!
If you are dealing with recurring or painful cracked heels, it’s time to call us. Our team of foot doctors here at Connecticut Foot Care Centers is equipped with a wealth of knowledge and resources in caring for your heels or any foot or ankle issue. Our doctors stay up to date with the newest diagnostic and treatment techniques and technologies! Our friendly and knowledgeable staff has unparalleled experience and can help you at any of our six conveniently located Connecticut offices. Request an appointment today!
Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night with a shooting or burning intense pain in your big toe? You could have been suffering from gout. Gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in your blood stream.
How does gout develop?
Your body forms uric acid as it breaks down purines – a substance found in rich meats like steak or organ meats, in rich sauces, and in alcohols. Uric acid is typically transported to the kidneys and passed through urine, but for people with an excess, it can lead to gout. That excess can be a result of low kidney function or excess uric acid production from too many purines. Dehydration is also a huge trigger for gout.
What symptoms come with gout?
A typical gout flare-up will come with sudden pain, inflammation, redness, and irritation in the joints of the big toe. This pain can last for hours and hours. Without treatment, it can recur in months and will eventually damage the joint.
How is gout treated?
While waiting for your podiatry appointment, the following can help ease symptoms:
• Medications to decrease pain and inflammation
• Icing and elevating the affected foot
• Drinking fluids
Your doctor will likely suggest one or a combination of the following to reduce your risk of gout attacks:
• Maintain a healthy weight
• Exercise regularly
• Reduce intake or avoid intake of alcohol, red meats, sugars, and shellfish
• Eat a balanced diet of veggies, whole grants, and plenty of fluids
If you are dealing with gout, it’s time to call us. Our team of foot doctors here at Connecticut Foot Care Centers is equipped with a wealth of knowledge and resources in caring for your gout or any foot or ankle issue. We provide the best in foot and ankle care and utilize the newest diagnostic and treatment techniques and technologies! Our friendly and knowledgeable staff has unparalleled experience and can help you at any of our six conveniently located Connecticut offices. Request an appointment today!