BLOG - REGULAR BLOG BY JANET McGROGGAN - PRINCIPAL PODIATRIST 

Our Principal Podiatrist, Janet McGroggan was interviewed by Tanya Pearey from Woman's Weekly Magazine.   Publication date 19th June 2018.  Click the image or 'Read More' for the full article. 

Last blog I wrote a bit about who we are, what we do… that’s podiatrists, not some alien species, and how to look after your feet.  
 
In this sequel (lol) I want to explain a wee bit more about conditions we treat and why podiatrists are the go to guys when it comes to lower limb conditions. 
 
People walk lots and wear shoes, or don’t wear shoes, or wear the wrong shoes. FACT 
 
People get foot problems or knee problems or hip problems and hope there is an instant cure. FACT 
 
These two facts are related funny enough and when people get problems generally we are too busy to do anything or aren’t sure who to go to. 
 
Most podiatrists are knowledgeable and approachable and if we feel that we are not the right professional for you we will refer you to the right one. 
June is Foot Health Month and this year podiatrists want to let you know how amazing your feet are and let you know how to keep them that way!  
 
Julia Bradbury who is passionate about walking is The College of Podiatry’s sponsor for this special event.  
 
She is quoted in Podiatry Now (our monthly magazine) as saying ‘A visit to my podiatrist is a part of my health and fitness routine and helps me keep my feet in prime condition.’ 
 
Right we know what a bunion is, and we know that there can be many different reasons for them but what do we do to treat them?  
 
Before you book in for major surgery there are several ways to deal with bunions on a day to day basis. 
 
First is your bunion painful? Several people have bunions and they are not painful and in this case you may choose to totally ignore them or you may will to preserve the joint as best you can and prevent further deterioration. 
Like most things in life there are very few people with what we perceive to be a normal or perfect foot.  
 
Occasionally you hear of a person, often married to someone who has terrible feet ‘my husband’s feet are perfect…’ but much like new-born babies that sleep through the night, I have never seen one. 
Ok so we hear about bunions a lot, most people think only women get them or only old people or we inherit them from our granny.  
 
But what are they, why do we get them and what can we do about them? 
 
This is a picture of my bunion. Yes, even podiatrists get them.  
 
Mine is not big or painful and mainly this is because of how I manage it and I will go into detail on that later. 
 
A bunion is a bony prominence on the side of the foot at the base of the big toe.  
 
There is always a cause for this and if the cause is treated early enough then the bunion can be prevented, or its progress delayed. 
I bet the average man thinks that women moan about their feet more than men do and maybe they’d be right.  
 
But this is not just because we love our heels or the straps always seem to be in the wrong place.  
 
No – as if it’s not bad enough that we are a rollercoaster of hormones on a monthly basis with the ability to grow, carry and pop out babies.  
 
Now, added to this we can expect to live more than a third of our lives post menopausally!!!  
 
Joy of joys. 
Self-care of your feet and legs is always important but in people with Diabetes this is absolutely crucial. 
 
The key is to establish a daily routine. 
 
1. Clean and moisturise your feet. 
2. Use a mirror or willing family member to check for any cuts, blisters or ingrowing nails and clean and dress these immediately. 
3. Wear socks inside out so seams do not rub. 
4. Always wear well-fitting footwear and never go barefoot or just in sock soles. 
People often know that it is important for people with Diabetes not to cut their own toenails but when I ask they rarely know why this is.  
 
If you do not see a podiatrist regularly e.g. every 6-8 weeks, it is important to go for an annual foot check. There are several reasons why. 
 
Increased blood glucose levels 
 
• can affect the circulation to the feet and legs causing cramps, restless legs and poor oxygen levels to the skin and muscles. 
• can cause damage to the long nerves that reach your feet. This can mean a loss of sensation (peripheral neuropathy) or heightened sensation (painful neuropathy). The longer you are Diabetic the more chance you have of developing neuropathy. 
• cause poor healing and increased chance of bacterial infection. In combination with loss of sensation this means that a minor cut can become infected very quickly. 
• create the perfect environment for fungal skin and nail infections. 
The number of people being diagnosed with diabetes is growing and I know from experience that many people feel that it is inevitable because their mother or grandfather or someone had it, but this is not necessarily true.  
 
Unfortunately, with the increases in diagnoses comes an increase in complacency towards the disease and indeed many people have a limited understanding of diabetes. 
 
So, What Exactly is Diabetes? 
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