BLOG - REGULAR BLOG BY JANET McGROGGAN - PRINCIPAL PODIATRIST 

Consistent monitoring of your diabetes is key in early detection of lower limb problems that can escalate quickly; a cut can become infected due to high blood glucose levels. 
 
A crack in the skin can become fungal which can become chronic and painful and peripheral neuropathy can mean that you are unaware of the problem. 
 
Diabetes is a chronic illness that needs regular monitoring by the person and a multi-disciplinary team including a podiatrist. It develops if the body becomes resistant to insulin or the pancreas becomes unable to produce enough insulin. This causes an increase in blood glucose levels as the job of insulin is to move glucose from the blood stream into your cells. 
 
 
As winter settles in it is common to see an increase in Chilblains, mainly in the older population, people with circulatory issues or people with conditions such as Raynaud’s.  
 
But is it a coincidence that there has been an increase in younger people suffering with this painful problem since early 2020? 
Hyaluronic Acid is a naturally occurring substance therefore biocompatible with very few side effects. 
 
It is available in various viscosities the thickest of which has been tried and tested as an injectable into the foot and is proven not to disperse under the pressure of walking or the forces exerted on feet from footwear. 
 
If you suffer from persistent corns or areas of painful callus on your feet, then I would like to introduce you to a treatment that you may benefit from. 
 
 
People living with Charcot Marie Tooth (CMT) will know that it is a multifaceted disorder that damages the peripheral nerves, and this causes motor and sensory problems in the arms, hands, legs and feet.  
 
There are several variations of CMT and each individual will know their own disease intimately. 
Rheumatoid Arthritis RhA is an autoimmune condition that causes the immune system to attack the joints in the body. 
 
Up to 90% of people living with RhA will develop symptoms in their feet.  
 
These symptoms can present as pain or stiffness in the feet, warmth and swelling in the joint of the feet and aching after activity or standing for long periods. 
Parkinson’s mainly affects people over 50 years old although 2-10 in every 100 people living with Parkinson’s is under 50. 
 
It is a progressive disease meaning that it moves through a series of well documented stages. 
 
These stages comprise of motor and non-motor symptoms. Motor symptoms refer to movement such as losing balance when walking, symptoms usually progress slowly. 
The Coronavirus is by no means over but luckily for my sanity and your foot and leg problems we were allowed to reopen our clinic this month.  
 
We rely on advice from The College of Podiatry who support and insure us as well as advice from the government. 
 
Much as I would like to say that I am a deep mahogany brown from sunbathing in lockdown weather, it’s not in my nature to lounge around, guilty conscience, I guess. 
Recently I treated a new patient who had been diagnosed with Plantar Fasciitis by her G.P. weeks ago and had been hobbling round ever since in agony. 
 
A podiatrist who treats heel pain will never have a chat and hand you a pair of insoles. 
 
I take about an hour. In this time, I take a medical and family history. This is to understand if there are any underlying conditions that you already know of that may contribute to the problem, medications that you take that may interfere with treatment or anything that you may not have flagged up that may affect diagnose or treatment. 
It is impossible to treat heel pain until a diagnosis has been made.  
 
I have been there, the knife like pain in the heel first thing in the morning and the dull ache that makes your heart sink every step you take, accompanied by a sharp tug in the arch when I need to go on my tip toes. The sheer relentlessness of it makes you grab the nearest pain killer in anticipation of what is to come. 
Athletes foot is generally easily treated using over the counter remedies but the fact that the nail harbours the fungal infection and is very slow to grow makes clearing up a fungal nail a challenge.  
 
Our nails are made up of three layers and the infection can be localised to the lowest layer and the skin under the nail plate. Onychomycosis can cause thickened, unsightly and sometimes painful nails in a variety of colours ranging from white to yellow and even green as different fungi families appear as different colours. 
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