By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
December 12, 2017
Category: Diabetic Foot Care

Diabetic patients always have to take special care of their feet, but at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care, we know that this time of the year brings some particular challenges that we want to remind our patients about. Colder weather and the holiday season can increase potential risks for patients with diabetes. Here are some do’s and don’ts to help keep your season merry and bright:

Don’t: be tempted to skip your regularly scheduled podiatric appointments. All the extra activity of the holiday season may mean less time but it also means more stress on your feet and that’s why monitoring your feet is even more important.

Do: be diligent about using a rich moisturizer on your feet and heels. As thermostats get turned up, the air and consequently our skin gets much drier. Avoid heel fissures and cracks caused by dry skin with extra applications of cream or lotion.

Do: keep feet dry. Feet that sit in damp socks allow bacteria to grow and increase the risk of fungal toenail infections and athlete’s foot. Change socks more than once a day if you sweat profusely. If snow or rain has seeped in through your shoes or boots, remove them as soon as possible and dry your feet completely, particularly between your toes.

Don’t: apply direct heat to your feet. Avoid heating pads and electric blankets. Neuropathy can make it difficult to detect when the temperature is too high and may result in burns.

Do: pay attention to where you are walking. Between slippery conditions from wintery weather and too many items on your mind, it’s easy to miss a curb or not see an icy patch on the sidewalk. Slips and falls can cause injuries that can lead to serious complications for diabetic patients. Limit the number of packages you carry at one time as well because this can prevent you from seeing what’s in front of you.

Don’t: put off contacting our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office in New Jersey if you detect any unusual symptoms in your feet. Our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah will want to be informed immediately of any changes in your feet so they can be checked in order to head off potential wounds or ulcers. Call us at: 732-662-3050.

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
December 06, 2017
Category: Diabetes
Tags: Diabetes  

At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care, we urge all of our patients (and particularly those with diabetes or autoimmune conditions) to contact our Monroe, Monmouth Junction or Edison office in New Jersey at the first sign of a wound or ulcer on the foot or lower extremity that does not seem to be healing promptly. Ulcers are wounds that are slow to heal and consequently can lead to dangerous infections. There are a number of different causes of foot ulcers and our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah, will diagnose your wound and prescribe the correct treatment.

In addition to following the foot doctor’s directions, you can help increase your immune response in several ways. One of them is by choosing healthy foods that contain specific elements that help fight infection and increase the effectiveness of your immune system. Below are 5 heavy hitters in the fighting of infections. With cold and flu season upon us, these items are good to add your menus even if you don’t currently have a foot infection.

  1. Kale—yes this super food makes the list for boosting your immune response too. That’s because it’s full of vitamin C. Long recognized as a powerful help in warding off colds and other common illnesses, this vitamin also helps other antioxidant levels to increase.
  2. Poultry—it’s a lean source of iron, critical to helping you deliver oxygen to your cells and also plays a role in clotting. Chicken, turkey, Cornish game hens and other fowl also contain zinc which can help regulate inflammation and grow new white blood cells.
  3. Garlic—certain chemicals in garlic have been found to actually help reduce the risk of cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. It contains power antioxidants known for defeating infections. In some cultures garlic is even applied directly to wounds as an antiseptic.
  4. Yogurt—be sure to choose the kind with live and active cultures. These cultures greatly enhance your immune system. In addition, you’ll be getting a dose of another infection fighter: vitamin D.
  5. Cauliflower—in addition to antioxidants, cauliflower contains choline, a chemical that improves cell movement and structure and also glutathione, an antioxidant which targets a number of specific infections.

If you have additional questions about foot or lower extremity wounds, contact us by calling: 732-662-3050.

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
November 30, 2017
Category: Cold Feet

With the first blasts of wintry weather we at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care see a predictable increase in cold weather related foot issues. While it’s normal for your feet to feel cold when the weather changes, especially in the beginning of the winter season, perpetually cold feet that have trouble warming up can be a sign of a medical condition. Most often cold feet problems are caused by a circulatory issue. Blood has the farthest to flow to your feet and so they are often the coldest part of your body and also can be the first place that a circulatory disorder shows up. Some possible conditions that have cold feet as a symptom include:

Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD)—with this condition there is a blockage or narrowing of the arteries which restricts the blood flow.

Diabetes—poor circulation is often associated with this disease. An added complication—neuropathy or loss of sensation—may mean your feet can be cold without your realizing it. For this reason it’s important to always wear socks even when sleeping to keep feet warm.

Raynaud’s Phenomenon—with this condition cold causes spasms in the blood vessels in the toes and fingers. Digits will turn white and then blue or red and can take up to 20 minutes to return to normal once they are warmed up.

Medications—certain medications such as beta blockers used to treat high blood pressure, ergotamine medications for migraines and cold meds that contain pseudoephrine all can cause blood vessels to constrict and make your feet cold.

Other Medical Conditions—in addition to the circulatory disorders above there are other health issues that can cause cold feet. These include: fibromyalgia, nerve disorders, autoimmune diseases such as lupus and scleroderma and hormonal problems such as hypothyroidism.

Since there are a wide variety of disorders that can cause cold feet it’s essential that you make an appointment with one of our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah to track down the source of this symptom. The foot doctor will start by examining your feet and also taking a complete medical history. Depending on what the podiatrist finds lab, imaging or nerve tests may be ordered. It’s important to diagnose cold feet sooner rather than later, particularly since some of the potential causes pose a serious medical threat. Contact our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office by calling: 732-662-3050.

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
November 21, 2017
Category: Nerve Injury
Tags: Physical Therapy   Orthotics  

When patients come to us at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care with foot pain, we need to determine the source of the pain before the appropriate treatment can be prescribed to bring relief. In addition to examining your feet and ankles, our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah, will take a medical history, conduct tests and ask you questions about your activities and the pain itself. Pain that is related to your muscles tends to ache or throb and joint pain can be perceived as soreness or stiffness. Nerve pain, too, has its own distinct characteristics. Any of the following symptoms may point to nerve pain:

  • Pain is accompanied by a sharp or dull shooting sensation like an electrical shock traveling up or down the leg and foot
  • Muscle weakness in the area where the pain is
  • Pain that doesn’t go away
  • Numbness between the toes
  • The sensation of walking on a small pebble
  • Super sensitivity to cold or hot
  • A tingling or burning feeling on the bottom of your foot

Treatment Options

If the foot doctor determines that you are experiencing a nerve issue, a surgery to decompress or free a nerve that is being pinched may be recommended. Similar to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome surgery, part of the roof of the tunnel that houses the nerve is removed. This gives the nerve more space to transmit and receive messages and thus the pain is eliminated.

There are also conservative measures that your podiatrist may want to try first to relieve nerve pain. These include:

  • Icing the affected area
  • Shoe modifications or custom orthotics
  • Oral medications to relieve pain and inflammation
  • Injection therapy
  • Bracing
  • Immobilization
  • Physical Therapy

As with most podiatric conditions early treatment is best because nerve damage can become permanent if not caught soon enough. If you have pain that you suspect may stem from a nerve problem, contact our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office in New Jersey by calling: 732-662-3050.

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
November 15, 2017
Category: Diabetic Foot Care

November is National Diabetes Month and here at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care we partner with many patients who have this disease to help manage it and protect the health of their feet. Since neuropathy, or loss of sensation, and reduced circulatory and immune system function are all associated with diabetes, our diabetic patients have elevated risks for foot issues. What might be minor or common conditions for other patients—blisters, bunions, athlete’s foot—can pose a major potential threat to diabetic patients. Wounds and infections can be slow and difficult to heal and lead to serious consequences, even amputation. Thankfully, our foot and ankle doctors, Dr. Varun Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah, can help patients with regular podiatric care to prevent wounds and maintain the health of their feet.

Preventing Diabetes

According to the American Diabetes Association, approximately 30 million Americans over the age of 18 have diabetes. Even more startling, a little over 84 million are believed to be pre-diabetic. Your physician can determine if you fall into this category. There are ways that all patients can lower their risk of diabetes. These include:

  • Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight increases your risk of Type 2 diabetes as well as heart disease and stroke. Even losing 10-15 pounds can significantly reduce your risk. Start by cutting back on calories (swap veggies and hummus or whole grain snacks for chips, replace a starch with a salad, etc.).  Weigh yourself at least once a week. Increase the amount of water you drink—it can help you feel full.
  • Don’t smoke. Smoking, in addition to raising your chances of developing diabetes, also impedes circulation, which is a contributing factor to diabetic complications.
  • Stay active. Exercise has multiple benefits: it helps prevent diabetes, increases circulation, helps your joints stay flexible and strengthens muscles, bones and your heart. You don’t have to run a marathon! Incorporate a walk during lunch hour. If you have a desk job, set a timer to get up every 30 minutes to stretch and take a quick walk around the office. Park a little further away from stores and your office. Consider adding strength training with weights, stretches and some aerobic sessions as you progress.

Start small. Little changes are more likely to be successful. If you have additional questions about diabetes and the health of your feet, contact our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office in New Jersey by calling: 732-662-3050.

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