Posts for: September, 2014
This week St. Hedwig Parish in Wilmington holds their 58th Polish Festival on the waterfront, with days of amusement rides and great Polish food and nights of free concerts and dancing. Nothing like a good polka to get your feet tingling! But what if that tingling isn’t an itch to dance, but early neuropathy warning signs in your feet that you shouldn’t ignore?
Do you even know what the early symptoms of neuropathy are? One is a feeling of pins and needles, or tingling and prickling, in your feet. Another is a burning sensation, first in your feet and legs, moving later to your hands and arms. You may also feel sharper, stabbing pains which may be worse at night.
Beyond this type of pain, peripheral neuropathy warning signs may include muscle weakness or paralysis, lack of coordination, or a higher chance of developing sores or infections in the foot. Automatic neuropathy affects areas such as bowel and bladder function, blood pressure regulation, heartbeat, and balance. With mononeuropathy, just specific nerves are affected, causing eye pain or focusing problems, for example, or foot problems.
You need to recognize these signs to catch them early, before the condition has a chance to progress and become serious. Outcomes are much better if treatment is started promptly. Be on the lookout, and as soon as you notice any of these symptoms, give Advanced Foot & Ankle Center a call at (302) 355-0056. With offices in Newark, Wilmington, and Glasgow, DE, we are nearby to offer help and evaluate the nerve function in your legs and feet and find the best treatments for any irregularities. You can also set up an appointment online through our contact page. We want to be sure you are in great shape to polka the night away at the festival!
It is quite discouraging when you decide to work on getting fit, only to find that after a couple of blocks your legs hurt so badly you can’t go on. This symptom could indicate vascular problems, but you are on the right track. Some lifestyle changes and increased exercise could help alleviate your pain, and you could be heading off one weekend soon to the Burton Island Loop at Delaware Seashore State Park (1.5 miles), or work your way up to the 3.2-mile loop at Killens Pond State Park.
Whenever your blood flow is restricted, whether due to smoking, peripheral vascular disease, or some other condition, exercise is one of the ways to improve it. You will need to start slowly, and make sure you have good supportive footwear so you don’t add sore feet to your list of problems. Gradually increasing the distance can improve your health and circulation.
Besides exercise, here are some other remedies to address vascular problems:
- Quit smoking. Tobacco use can contribute to poor circulation.
- Eat well. Healthy foods low in cholesterol and high in nutrients are best.
- Lose weight. Extra pounds make all parts of your body work harder.
- Control high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure—with medication if prescribed.
- Control blood glucose levels. This is crucial for diabetic patients who are prone to poor circulation and nerve damage.
It is easy to talk about changing your lifestyle, but it is very hard to do. So get help! Join a stop-smoking class. Get a walking buddy. Pick a healthy diet plan and ask your family or roommate to do it with you and keep you accountable.
Don’t forget one important member of your team—the staff at Advanced Foot & Ankle Center. We will work with you to judge the health of blood flow in your legs and feet and prescribe medications, diet, and exercise regimens that can help you conquer your poor circulation. You will benefit with more energy, fewer limitations, and a feeling of accomplishment. Give us a call at (302) 355-0056 and set up an appointment at one of our Delaware offices in Newark, Glasgow, or Wilmington.
Photo Credit: Artur84 via FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Many states, including Delaware, have passed laws prohibiting smoking in public and in workplaces. How bad is this habit for your health? The National Institutes of Health says it causes about 1 in every 5 deaths in the United States each year! You may know the facts about its effect on heart, lungs, and blood pressure, but tobacco use affects every part of your body—even your feet—because it contributes to poor circulation.
The health of your feet depends on your body getting nutrients needed for cell growth and antibodies to fight infection to every part of your foot. This is especially true if you have diabetes, where sores can quickly develop into ulcers if they are not noticed or properly treated. When your blood flow is compromised, your body is less able to heal itself.
Tobacco products contain chemicals that can harm your blood cells and damage the structure of blood vessel walls. Smoking reduces the supply of oxygen in your blood, too. Together, these effects lead to poor circulation in your feet and slow the healing process. Unfortunately, secondhand smoke from burning cigarettes, cigars, and pipes—or even from an exhaling smoker—contains the same chemicals, so you don’t even have to smoke yourself to be affected.
When sores on your feet don’t heal quickly, the chance of infection increases. If it becomes serious, gangrene (dying tissue) can set in. Although Advanced Foot & Ankle Center does great work with limb salvage teams, sometimes amputation is the only way to save a limb—or a life.
The solution? Don’t smoke. If you do, quit. Avoid places where you will be exposed to secondhand smoke as much as possible, too. For help to quit smoking, the Delaware Division of Public Health has a hotline and cessation resources available. If you have already have foot problems resulting from your habit or diabetes, let Advanced Foot & Ankle Center help. We offer expert diabetic wound care at our offices in Newark, Glasgow, and Wilmington, Delaware. Call (302) 355-0056 for an appointment today.
Photo Credit: GregoryLime via Pixabay.com