Diabetes Awareness Month and Your Feet

diabetes

November is Diabetes Awareness Month. Unfortunately, the number of people in America with diabetes is on the rise, and millions more go undiagnosed every year. Diabetes can cause major health issues, especially at the extremities like your feet. Now is a good time to go over what you need to know about how diabetes can affect your feet and what you can do about it.

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes affects how your body turns food into energy. If you have diabetes, your body does not produce enough insulin or the insulin it does make is ineffective and it allows too much blood sugar to stay in your bloodstream. Over time, this can cause serious health problems.

What Can You Do?

Unfortunately, there is no cure for diabetes, but it can be managed. Losing weight, eating healthy food, quitting smoking, and being active can all really help. Foot health is especially important as diabetes can cause numbness in the extremities, so checking your feet regularly is vital to prevent any types of sores or wounds or any foot complications from happening.

Here are some other tips to keep your feet healthy and happy if you are diagnosed with diabetes:

  • Never go barefoot
  • Make sure to check your blood sugar regularly
  • Make sure to wear shoes that fit appropriately
  • If you notice increased redness, pain, or swelling to your feet, call your podiatrist immediately

  • Wash your feet every day in warm water to prevent damage to your skin

  • Keep your toenails regularly trimmed

  • Use a moisturizer to prevent your skin from cracking

Having diabetes is no fun, however with the right care and regular visits to your podiatrist it doesn’t have to prevent you from leading a quality life. If you have any issues with foot health and mobility, contact Step by Step Family Foot Care in Parsippany, New Jersey. Our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Debra B. Manheim, offers treatment for foot and ankle disorders, biomechanical analysis, and functional orthotic fabrication. For more information and answers to your questions, and to schedule an appointment, contact us at (973) 917-3785.

What Causes Raynaud’s Disease?

Raynaud's Disease

Raynaud’s disease is a condition that doctors are still struggling to understand. With this condition, your body will overreact to stress or cold temperatures. This causes a change in your fingers and toes. The changes include your skin becoming a lighter color to the point where it becomes white, numbness, and a prickly feeling going into the affected area.

You may be wondering, however, what causes this illness to emerge?

Causes of Raynaud’s Disease

  • When your blood vessels spasm: With this affliction, the arteries to your toes and fingers narrow and limit blood supply. This is especially true if you are stressed or have been exposed to cold.
  • Artery diseases: These include plaque in the vessels, disorders, and high blood pressure.
  • Repetitive motions: Motions like playing piano, operating construction equipment, and other repetitive motions can lead to overuse.
  • Tissue diseases: Lupus, scleroderma, and rheumatoid arthritis are all connective tissue diseases that can increase the risk of Raynaud’s disease.
  • Smoking: This includes both smoking and second-hand smoke. Both are damaging and cause blood vessels to constrict.
  • Taking medications: If you take blood pressure medicine, headache and migraine medicine, or over-the-counter cold medicines you can be at increased risk.
  • Injuries: If you have had injuries to the feet or your hands like fractures, frostbite, or had surgery in these areas, you will be at further risk.

Raynaud’s is a condition that can cause other issues later. Knowing the causes can help you avoid this condition and keep your health at its peak. If you have these systems, you will need to get help from your podiatrist and doctor immediately. If you’re curious about the health of your feet, contact Step by Step Family Foot Care in Parsippany, New Jersey. Our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Debra B. Manheim, offers treatment for foot and ankle disorders, biomechanical analysis, and functional orthotic fabrication. For answers to your foot questions and to schedule your appointment, contact us at (973) 917-3785.

Don’t Skip Podiatry Appointments

Our feet have a large job. They keep us upright and mobile, absorb shock when we play sports, and wear down as we get older. A podiatrist can help you retain your mobility and keep your feet in the best shape possible for much longer. Be sure that you see a podiatrist if you have any of these issues.

  • Bunions: Bunions are not overly painful unless left untreated. As you get older, they get more bothersome, and you will notice that they can cause friction and mobility issues.
  • Joint pain: Joint pain in your foot could be because of an underlying issue. A podiatrist will run tests and determine if any problems exist. In many cases, you will have a long-term health plan and medication to heal your issues.
  • Calluses: Calluses are thick and painful. If you see a podiatrist immediately, they can remove it before it gets too thick and offers medication to soothe the pain and help you avoid infection and future issues.
  • Diabetes: If you have diabetes, you will find that you are at high risk for infection, poor circulation, and mobility issues. A podiatrist can help monitor your feet and the problems you face, including help with ingrown toenails. As a person suffering from diabetes, you should never deal with ingrown toenails yourself, potentially creating cuts and infections.
  • Increased activity: Changing your activity level, such as working out more, running, or adopting sports, can all cause damage to the feet. A podiatrist will be able to help you in determining whether you need orthotics and custom options for letting your feet work at their best.

If you have any issues with foot health and mobility, contact Step by Step Family Foot Care in Parsippany, New Jersey. Our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Debra B. Manheim, offers treatment for foot and ankle disorders, biomechanical analysis, and functional orthotic fabrication. For more information and answers to your questions, and to schedule an appointment, contact us at (973) 917-3785.

Preventing Falls at Any Age

fall prevention

Falling is a painful thing, and it can cause damage later. There are things that make us more susceptible to this issue, such as age, health, or underlying medical conditions. You can also be at risk because of the shoes you wear and your lifestyle choices. However, there are things that you can do to ensure that you stand a more substantial chance of avoiding a dangerous fall, no matter your age.

  • Ensure you are at your best: if you have trouble seeing or hearing, this is a problematic issue that needs to be rectified. If you need glasses, let yourself get used to them. If you need a hearing aid, you must remember to wear it properly and don’t skip it. Neglecting to use these items can cause disorientation and can lead to a fall.
  • Avoid alcohol: alcohol in any form or dosage can impair you and cause you to sway or experience dizziness. This can lead to having trouble staying upright and walking correctly. Cutting alcohol completely from your diet will ensure better health which is also vital to avoid a fall.
  • Be careful in different weather: in the winter, you can experience snow and ice, which causes slippery areas, and water on the ground can cause slick regions. Be careful in these areas and ensure that you are walking around the mess to avoid getting hurt.
  • Don’t jump up: standing quickly or jumping up after sitting can cause a drop in your blood pressure. This is what causes the ‘head rush.’ You can also experience dizziness or a near-immediate fall as your legs buckle.
  • Avoid improper shoes: high heels make ankles wobble, toes cramp, and feet sweat. All these issues can cause an imbalance and unsteadiness on your feet. Choose non-skid shoes with a low heel and rubber soles.  These will help you walk on various surfaces with confidence.

If you have concerns about your foot health, contact Step by Step Family Foot Care, in Parsippany, New Jersey. Our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Debra B. Manheim, offers treatment for foot and ankle disorders, biomechanical analysis, and functional orthotic fabrication. For more information, answers to your questions, and to schedule an appointment, contact us at (973) 917-3785.

What Are Custom Orthotics?

custom orthotics

Custom orthotics are devices provided by a specialist or a podiatrist according to the anatomy of your foot. Custom orthotics can benefit anyone as they support the natural shape of the feet, alleviate pain in the foot, redistribute weight evenly on the feet, maintain equilibrium and greatly reduce the risk of forming foot sores in people with diabetes. They are frequently prescribed to people with bunions, hammertoes, high-arched feet, flat or webbed feet, plantar fasciitis, overpronation, diabetic foot, and supination.

How Can They Benefit You?

  1. Custom orthotics manufacturers use intelligent, innovative sensory technology to gauge the anatomy of their client’s feet and analyze pressure points for any dysfunctional gait issues while bearing weight. This way, the custom insoles are made to address an individual’s podiatric requirements.
  • A podiatrist would prefer prescribing custom orthotics to people seeking orthotic support for their feet, but insurance companies usually do not cover the expense of custom orthotics. The other suitable option could be supportive insoles formed by a rigid material that would lend stability to the feet instead of the widely available soft-bendable drug-store insoles. Foot structure misalignment, supination, overpronation, and plantar fasciitis can be corrected with custom orthotics or supportive insoles.
  • When choosing supportive insoles, bear in mind the right volume of insoles for the kind of shoes they would be inserted in and the type of place you would be wearing them. For example, insoles with low volume are better suited for people with low arches or cycling shoes. Medium volume insoles work well with a range of arch types, casual footwear, and some athletic shoes. Insoles with high volume are best for runners or trekking boots, hiking footwear, ski boots, and feet with high arches.

At Step by Step Family Foot Care, in Parsippany, New Jersey, we offer custom orthotics and supportive insoles for your podiatric needs after a thorough consultation with our board-certified podiatrist Dr. Debra B. Manheim. For more information and to schedule your appointments, contact us at (973) 917-3785.

A Traveler’s Guide to Ensuring Foot Health

Maintaining a proper foot care routine is not high on every traveler’s list while getting underway for a long-awaited vacation. With that in mind, we bring you a short guide to convince you to treat your feet with care even when you are in transit to ensure your foot health and safety.

Traveling for pleasure or work can lead to a lot of sitting in one place, narrow leg space, walking through community spaces, and standing in long lines. All these activities can take a toll on a traveler’s feet and cause pain in the feet and arches, injuries to the ankle, foot infections, and various podiatric issues. Here’s a list of few essentials to keep in mind before you pack your bags:

  • Pack the right footwear

Pick footwear according to the kind of place you will be visiting. It can save you from plantar fasciitis flare-ups, bruises, ankle sprains, and fractures. Flip-flops will be of no use on a trek to Mt. Kilimanjaro. Instead, pack a pair of sturdy shoes with good ankle and arch support.

  • Keep foot-care essentials with you

A travel case filled with your foot-care essentials like nail clippers, bandages, antibiotic creams, emery board, and moleskin can come in handy if you face cuts, scrapes, torn nails, blisters, or dry skin.

  • Bring along compression socks

If you anticipate long periods of sitting in a plane, bus, at a conference; then wear your compression socks to alleviate swelling in the feet. These socks also promote blood flow to the limbs. Ensure periodic breaks for stretches and walk to avoid deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and blood clots.

  • Keep ample sunscreen

The American Academy of Dermatology Association recommends the use of a sunscreen of SPF 30 with a water-based formula on the sun-burn-prone areas of the feet. A painful sunburn can worsen by the constant rubbing of shoes along the burnt skin.

  • Stretch your feet and keep hydrated

Stretching the ball and arch of your feet on a bottle of water or a tennis ball can relieve sore feet. Elevate your feet to bring down the swelling. Good hydration encourages blood flow and keeps in check the muscles cramping from exertion.

If you incur a severe foot injury, sprained ankle, or fracture while traveling, seek immediate medical attention. If you are in Parsippany, New Jersey area, we at Step by Step Family Foot Care are at your service to address all your podiatric issues. Our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Debra B. Manheim, can evaluate your symptoms and treat you promptly. To schedule an appointment at your ease, contact us at (973) 917-3785.

6 Ways Men Can Achieve a Healthier Lifestyle

Men's Health

Health is a priceless gift. The responsibility to conserve health lies in our own hands. Failing to do so can lead to irreparable loss. Fortunately, many of the ailments that are the leading cause of death amongst men are preventable if you lead a healthy lifestyle. After all, prevention is better than cure. Let us take this International Men’s Health Month to raise awareness about a healthy lifestyle and encourage men to be particular about their wellness.

Here are a few guidelines that can help in preventing adverse effects of disease amongst men:

  1. Sitting is the next smoking: Most men have desk-bound jobs, long working hours, and prolonged couch spells, all leading to a sedentary lifestyle. Statistics show sitting for long periods is as detrimental to your health as smoking. Pro-active habits spike the rate of metabolism, help reduce obesity, promote blood circulation, and save you from Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.
  • Maintain a healthy diet and a healthy weight: Obesity is considered the mother of all ailments. Take out the “junk” from your food and replace it with “healthy”. Keeping a diet balanced in good carbohydrates, high proteins, and moderate fats can help maintain your ideal weight and replenish the body with essential nutrients.
  • Incorporate consistent exercise in your routine: Regular physical activity helps promote immense physical and mental benefits. Even if you cannot attend the gym regularly because of your busy schedule, ensure that you remain active on your feet.
  • Park your car farther from your destination:
    • Avoid sitting at the desk, try a standing desk
    • Find an excuse to walk around the workplace
    • Try pacing while talking on your phone
    • Take the stairs to skip the elevator
  • Quit smoking and alcohol: Smoking destroys the lungs, healthy functioning of the heart, and overall wellness. Alcohol can severely damage the liver and nerve functions.
  • De-stress: Stress can cause heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. If you are a workaholic, take a break from your busy routine, try deep breathing, and check your posture. Take time to indulge in your hobbies, plan a vacation and spend time with family.
  • Schedule annual checkups with your healthcare provider: Visit your physician for routine medical checkups and get your baseline health assessments sorted.

If you have concerns about your foot health, contact Step By Step Family Foot Care. Our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Debra B. Manheim, can help you on your journey of transformation. You can call us at (973) 917-3785 to schedule a convenient appointment or visit our office in Parsippany, NJ.

Ways to Manage Your Arthritis Pain

Did you know that arthritis is not one disease – but an umbrella term used for over 100 different conditions of the joint? May is Arthritis Awareness Month and at Step by Step Family Foot Care, we think it’s essential to pass on information about this disease which has engulfed millions of people around the globe.

The prevalence of arthritis in the United States has grown exponentially. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 54 million adults in the US have some form of arthritis, which is about 1 in 4. Even kids can get arthritis! Symptoms of arthritis may vary depending on the type. Still, some common characteristics include pain, stiffness, fatigue, inflammation, and swelling of the joints, loss of foot function, and mobility issues. The thirty-three joints in each foot are common targets of this disease.

There are no instant solutions for arthritis, but there are several steps you can take to mitigate its effects.

  • Weight loss can reduce the stress and pressure on the joints of the foot and ankle. Make sure that you eat healthily and stay active. A good diet and regular exercise or sport can help you maintain a healthy body weight while relieving pain and stiffness in the joints.
  • Customized orthotics can be very beneficial in redistributing pressure loads across the foot.
  • Use medication and anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Wear shoes that are not too tight around the toe area to minimize pressure points. Extra-padding in the shoes can be helpful.
  • Physical therapy can help enhance your foot function and mobility issues.
  • Joint surgery.

If you have arthritis symptoms or have any concerns about your foot health, contact Step By Step Family Foot Care. Our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Debra B. Manheim, can evaluate your symptoms and treat you promptly. You can call us at (973) 917-3785 to schedule a convenient appointment or visit our office in Parsippany, NJ.

Happy Feet This National Foot Health Awareness Month

April is National Foot Health Awareness Month and a great month to kick start everything foot and ankle-related. Your feet are complex structures that contain nearly a quarter of all the bones in your body. Good healthy feet are vital for mobility, independence, and overall wellbeing. So, it’s no surprise that when our feet hurt, our entire body hurts! Today Dr. Debra B. Manheim of Step by Step Family Foot Care in Parsippany, New Jersey, encourages everyone to take a step (or steps!) towards happy, healthy feet!

  • Inspect your feet daily: Everyday foot exams are essential, especially if you have diabetes. Look for anything unusual such as bumps, cuts, wounds, drainage, skin changes, or discoloration of the toenail. When foot problems are found and treated early, it prevents complications.
  • Find the perfect pair: If your favorite shoe is a source of any discomfort, it is time to bid them farewell. Choose shoes that are made for the activity you want to do. Tight and ill-fitted shoes can cause severe damage or even worsen current conditions like hammertoes and bunions. Wear shoes with a wide toe box so that the toes have enough room to move to avoid issues like blisters, corns, deformed toes, neuromas, or calluses.
  • Seek professional help: If you notice a foot problem or are unsure of your diagnosis, see a podiatrist immediately. Regular visits to your foot doctor can help you get to the root of the problem and avoid any future pain or issue with your feet or ankles.

Be proactive, and care for your feet every day. Show them some TLC! We have an experienced doctor, Dr. Debra B. Manheim, a board-certified podiatrist to care for all your foot problems. Call (973) 917-3785 or visit our office in Parsippany, New Jersey, to have a thorough check-up and learn some of the best ways to improve your foot and ankle health. Feel free to browse through our patient education library and blog section on our website.

Healthy Food Choices Keep Your Feet Happy

woman in supermarket shopping for healthy food

Most of us are either unaware or choose to ignore the link between the food choices we make and the health of our feet. In recognition of National Nutrition Month, the experts at Step by Step Family Foot Care would like to reinforce the importance of a nutritious diet as a way to keep your feet healthy and performing at their optimal level.

Here are a few tips to consider when you are finalizing your menu:

  • Go green! Eat various leafy vegetables to provide you with the necessary nutrients to strengthen your immune system and keep you healthy. Spinach, kale, soybeans are good sources of calcium and vitamin D.
  • Fill your plate with colors. Consuming a combination of produce, along with seasonal fruits and vegetables, will give your body a holistic boost. Not only will this replenish all your nutrient requirements, but you will feel fresh and upbeat.
  • Go nuts! Delight your taste buds with a range of nuts like almonds and walnuts.
  • Experiment while cooking. Explore cuisines from around the world and select all the healthy recipes. Try making new dishes at home and enjoy a family meal together.
  • Change your method of cooking. Avoid deep-fried foods as they tend to increase your cholesterol levels. You can always switch to baking or steaming for a change of taste.

Eating a nutritious diet is essential to maintain your body weight and prevent your feet from being overburdened. Excessive weight puts undue stress on your lower extremities, increasing your chances of problems like flat feet, heel and arch pain, ankle sprains, arthritis, and more.

To learn more about various health risks and their preventive measures, feel free to consult our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Debra B. Manheim. In case of pain or discomfort in your lower extremities, schedule an appointment by calling our office in Parsippany, New Jersey, at (973) 917-3785 right away.