June is Men’s Health Month, and here at Long Island Foot & Ankle Group, PC we are concerned about some studies that we have heard regarding men and diabetes. Although diabetes affects men and women in almost equal numbers, women tend to have better control over their diabetes than men. Some studies have shown that men take longer to seek treatment when they first notice symptoms of diabetes (and other health disorders) because they are afraid of getting bad news. Other research has shown that even when men and women have similar health care services available to treat diabetes, women are more diligent about keeping their appointments and taking advantage of the healthcare services available.
The Foot/Diabetes Connection
There are several conditions associated with diabetes that can have a significantly negative impact on the health of your feet. Decreased circulation means slower healing and a greater chance of even minor issues such as blisters or warts becoming big health threats with a chance of infection and even amputation. Also, many diabetic patients also suffer from nerve damage, which decreases their ability to perceive sensations accurately in their feet. Here are some tips to help men with diabetes keep the disease under control:
- Talk to your podiatrist. Our foot and ankle surgeons, Dr. Russell Caprioli, Dr. Mary Ann Bilotti, Dr. John Haight and Dr. Marzana Mleczko will take the time to listen to your symptoms and thoroughly explain treatment options. Don’t be hesitant to share symptoms and ask questions—that’s why we’re here!
- Get in the habit of washing your feet daily with warm water and soap and drying completely.
- Inspect your feet regularly and look for changes in shape or skin color, rashes, growths, bruising, swelling or temperature changes. Report anything unusual to the podiatrist immediately.
- Avoid going barefoot. Even at home, you’re much more likely to step on a sharp object or smash your toe into a piece of furniture and injure yourself. Sometimes small wounds go undetected until an infection develops. Keeping feet covered will also reduce the chance of contracting a fungal infection.
- Follow the foot doctor’s instructions. If a treatment isn’t working for you or you are unsure of what you should be doing, contact our Valley Stream (516-825-4070) or Lake Success (516-327-0074) office.