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Monday, 25 February 2019 00:00

The Feet May Change as We Age

There are many people that experience unwanted foot conditions as the aging process occurs. This may be a result of poor circulation or a loss of cushioning. It is important to wear shoes that fit properly and are comfortable, and it may be beneficial to measure your feet regularly, which may ensure a correct fit. Circulation may be improved by performing specific foot stretches, in addition to walking frequently during the day. Some of the typical foot ailments that many seniors face may include athlete’s foot, corns and calluses, or dry skin. Diabetic patients may need to check their feet daily for any cuts or bruises that may be present. If these should go unnoticed, complications may arise as a result of the inability to heal properly. If you would like additional information about how to care for elderly feet, it is suggested to speak to a podiatrist who can properly guide you.

If you need your feet checked, contact Dr. James D. McAlexander of Gig Harbor Foot and Ankle Clinic. Our doctor will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs and provide you with quality treatment.

Geriatrics and Podiatry
When people age, some common issues that may occur are bone density loss, dry skin, poor circulation, and rough brittle nails. These issues may also affect your foot health if the necessary steps are not taken to alleviate the problems.

It is important to take care of your feet because feet that are injured or diseased can affect your overall health. Having painful feet hinders your ability to do daily activities or may decrease your willingness to do the things that you need to do.

Visiting Your Geriatrician
As we age, health problems become more likely, so it is essential to visit your doctor for check-ups to ensure that you are doing the best you can to take care of your health. It is recommended to check your feet frequently for any possible cuts, bruises, swelling, corns or any other irregularities. 

Taking Care of Elderly Feet
Cracked or dry feet can be treated by applying moisturizer often. It is also important not to wear old socks because the older the sock is, the higher the possibility there will be that there is bacteria there. Wear fresh socks and make sure they fit properly.

Proper foot health means that you can have a more active lifestyle and you will not be bogged down by pain. Foot health also leads to good circulation, which is paramount for overall health.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Gig Harbor, WA. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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Monday, 18 February 2019 00:00

What Causes Gout?

The medical term that is referred to as gout is considered to be a form of arthritis. Patients who develop this condition may often experience severe pain and discomfort in the big toe and surrounding areas, in addition to redness and swelling. Research has shown it may be caused by elevated uric acid levels in the blood, and this may be a result of eating foods that have large amounts of purines. These foods may include red meat, shellfish, and foods or drinks that are high in fructose. There are noticeable symptoms that are associated with gout, including stiffness in the affected joint, severe pain, and swelling. It may be possible to limit the occurrences of gout, and this may be accomplished by implementing lifestyle changes that may help to lower uric acid levels. Eating healthy foods and practicing a gentle exercise regime may help in maintaining a correct weight, which may be beneficial in possibly preventing gout attacks. If you are afflicted with gout, it is suggested to speak to a podiatrist who can properly treat this condition.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. James D. McAlexander from Gig Harbor Foot and Ankle Clinic. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What is Gout?

Gout is a form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness, and tenderness in the joints. The condition usually affects the joint at the base of the big toe. A gout attack can occur at any random time, such as the middle of the night while you are asleep.

Symptoms

  • Intense Joint Pain - Usually around the large joint of your big toe, and it most severe within the first four to twelve hours
  • Lingering Discomfort - Joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks
  • Inflammation and Redness -Affected joints may become swollen, tender, warm and red
  • Limited Range of Motion - May experience a decrease in joint mobility

Risk Factors

  • Genetics - If family members have gout, you’re more likely to have it
  • Medications - Diuretic medications can raise uric acid levels
  • Gender/Age - Gout is more common in men until the age of 60. It is believed that estrogen protects women until that point
  • Diet - Eating red meat and shellfish increases your risk
  • Alcohol - Having more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases your risk
  • Obesity - Obese people are at a higher risk for gout

Prior to visiting your podiatrist to receive treatment for gout, there are a few things you should do beforehand. If you have gout you should write down your symptoms--including when they started and how often you experience them, important medical information you may have, and any questions you may have. Writing down these three things will help your podiatrist in assessing your specific situation so that he or she may provide the best route of treatment for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Gig Harbor, WA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Gout
Published in Blog
Monday, 11 February 2019 00:00

Wound Care for People with Diabetes

In most cases, small lacerations on the feet naturally heal without any complications. Unfortunately, this is not true for those who suffer from diabetes. Foot ulcers are a common problem for those with diabetes, because diabetic neuropathy affects their ability to feel these wounds. Diabetic neuropathy occurs as a result of nerve damage and causes numbness and pain in the hands and feet. Therefore, people with diabetes may not feel an ulcer, which will lead to it not being treated. Some signs of an ulcer are drainage, redness, swelling, and odor. An ulcer that is left untreated will worsen and black tissue called eschar might form. When tissue death occurs because of infection this is called gangrene. Both symptoms can be life-threatening and should be taken very seriously. Those with diabetes should perform daily foot checks to ensure that no ulcers have formed. If you have diabetes and would like more information about how to properly care for your feet, it is recommended you consult with a podiatrist.

Wound care is an important part in dealing with diabetes. If you have diabetes and a foot wound or would like more information about wound care for diabetics, consult with Dr. James D. McAlexander from Gig Harbor Foot and Ankle Clinic. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What is Wound Care?

Wound care is the practice of taking proper care of a wound. This can range from the smallest to the largest of wounds. While everyone can benefit from proper wound care, it is much more important for diabetics. Diabetics often suffer from poor blood circulation which causes wounds to heal much slower than they would in a non-diabetic. 

What is the Importance of Wound Care?

While it may not seem apparent with small ulcers on the foot, for diabetics, any size ulcer can become infected. Diabetics often also suffer from neuropathy, or nerve loss. This means they might not even feel when they have an ulcer on their foot. If the wound becomes severely infected, amputation may be necessary. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance to properly care for any and all foot wounds.

How to Care for Wounds

The best way to care for foot wounds is to prevent them. For diabetics, this means daily inspections of the feet for any signs of abnormalities or ulcers. It is also recommended to see a podiatrist several times a year for a foot inspection. If you do have an ulcer, run the wound under water to clear dirt from the wound; then apply antibiotic ointment to the wound and cover with a bandage. Bandages should be changed daily and keeping pressure off the wound is smart. It is advised to see a podiatrist, who can keep an eye on it.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Gig Harbor, WA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Published in Blog

When proper circulation occurs in the body, the blood effectively carries oxygen and nutrients to the cells. If poor circulation develops, the blood flow is hindered, and blockages in the arteries may occur. Organs that include the brain and the heart may be compromised as a result of inadequate blood flow, and this may lead to unwanted health conditions. There are several reasons why poor circulation may occur, which may include genetic traits, a lack of exercise, and poor eating habits. Symptoms of this condition may include experiencing cold feet and toes for the majority of the day, a tingling sensation or numbness, a lack of energy, or swollen feet. Research has indicated that if specific foods are ingested, it may be easier to maintain proper circulation. These foods may include foods that are spicy, oranges, fish, and garlic. Additionally, performing a daily exercise routine may aid in promoting good circulation. If you have symptoms of this condition, it is suggested to consult with a podiatrist who can determine the cause and offer proper treatment options.

Poor circulation is a serious condition and needs immediate medical attention. If you have any concerns with poor circulation in your feet contact Dr. James D. McAlexander of Gig Harbor Foot and Ankle Clinic. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Poor Circulation in the Feet

Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs is can be caused by peripheral artery disease (PAD), which is the result of a buildup of plaque in the arteries.

Plaque buildup or atherosclerosis results from excess calcium and cholesterol in the bloodstream. This can restrict the amount of blood which can flow through the arteries. Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs are sometimes caused by inflammation in the blood vessels, known as vasculitis.

Causes

Lack of oxygen and oxygen from poor blood circulation restricts muscle growth and development. It can also cause:

  • Muscle pain, stiffness, or weakness   
  • Numbness or cramping in the legs 
  • Skin discoloration
  • Slower nail & hair growth
  • Erectile dysfunction

Those who have diabetes or smoke are at greatest risk for poor circulation, as are those who are over 50. If you have poor circulation in the feet and legs it may be caused by PAD and is important to make changes to your lifestyle in order to reduce risk of getting a heart attack or stroke. Exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will dramatically improve conditions.

As always, see a podiatrist as he or she will assist in finding a regimen that suits you. A podiatrist can also prescribe you any needed medication. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Gig Harbor, WA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment of Poor Blood Circulation in the Feet
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