Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Flip Flop Grinch

Are you familiar with the Grinch?  Unlike the Grinch, I am not going to have a change of heart about flip flops.

Flip flops are not shoes and are not good for your feet.  And let me add that they are particularly not good if you have diabetes.  Yes, they are better than bare feet only because they offer a slight protection for the soles of your feet.

5 reasons why you should not wear flip flops

1.  As a person with diabetes, you need to take great care of your feet.  You need to wear shoes or sandals that will protect your feet cuts, scratches, and punctures.  Nails, glass, and other foreign objects can puncture the thin plastic of flip flops and cut your foot.

2.  Everyone's feet need support.  Flip flops do not offer any support to your arches or your plantar fascia.  This makes it much easier to have foot problems.

3.  Flip flops are plastic. Plastic does not absorb the half pint of sweat a day from your feet. That moisture stays caught between your foot and the plastic and causes your skin to break down.  That break down can lead to openings for bacteria to enter and infect the foot.

4.  You do not walk the same when you wear flip flops.  This abnormality in your gait can lead to knee, leg, and hip soreness.

5.  People who wear flip flops have a tendency to injure their ankles by falling more often.  Since the flip flops do not hold or support your foot, it is easier to slip out of the flip flops and fall  Also they often do not have good traction in the rain.  

I know this viewpoint does not make me
 the most popular girl on the playground

Yes, I realize that you may disagree with me but I am pretty stuck on this viewpoint.  I think that people with diabetes need to be so careful with their feet that I don't see that flip flops are worth the risk.

Let me know what you think.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Interview with a Podiatrist - a re-post

This post is a visit to days gone by..  The post was originally posted 5/19/2012.  

I know I have mentioned several times how important foot care is for diabetics.  To further the point, I met and talked to Dr. Tayeb Hussain of Evanston Podiatric Surgeons P.C.  I had the chance to ask him some questions about diabetic foot care.  

Why is foot care so important for diabetics?

There are two main reasons.  The first is that diabetics are very prone to foot complications due to decreased circulation in the feet.  What looks like a simple callus can be the start of a problem.  A callus can lead to an ulcer (infection) which can lead to the loss of the toe, foot, or even leg. 

There are 15 MILLION amputations on diabetic patients A YEAR!

The second main reason is that diabetics can lose sensation in their feet and this loss of sensation makes them at increased risk. For example, a diabetic patient with loss of sensation in their toes can accidentally nick the skin while trimming their nails, not feel it, and that can lead to infection.

Should diabetics have a daily foot care plan?

Yes!  First thing every morning, a diabetic should check their feet with a mirror for sores and signs of infection.  This means thoroughly looking at the whole foot (top, bottom, sides, and between toes) for any indications of a problem.

The foot check should be repeated again at the end of every day.

Is there anything in particular to watch for when checking your feet?

Calluses are a big issue.  If you have calluses, you should use a moisturizer.  Do not try and pare calluses  down yourself.  Because calluses can lead to infection, a diabetic is much better off having the doctor treat the callus than trying any self treatment other than moisturizer.  .

How often should a diabetic patient see the Podiatrist? 

This depends on their age and how stable they are.  A healthy diabetic patient who is under 50 years old should see the podiatrist every six months.  A diabetic patient who is over 50 should have their legs and feet checked every three months.  It the patient is over 65, they should come in every 2-3 months to be checked and also to have their toe nails clipped.

What happens at a visit to the Podiatrist?

The Podiatrist performs a Comprehensive Diabetic Foot Exam (CDFE) which is a non-invasive examination of the feet and legs.  The exam evaluates the condition of the skin and checks the circulation of the leg and foot.  It also looks for neurological changes in the sensations of the foot.

Diabetics are told to exercise - is there an exercise that is better for diabetic's feet? 

 Any exercise that increases the circulation to the feet is good.  Walking is great exercise and is easy to do.  While circulation can be helped, the sensory changes cannot be helped by exercise.  Controlling your blood sugar level is really important for maintaining your health.

Is there anything to be careful of when buying shoes? 

There are two important things about buying shoes.  The first is that the length of the shoes should be longer than the length of the foot.  You should be able to press your thumb in between your toe and the top of the shoe.  The second thing is that the shoe should have extra depth.

In summary, what is the one thing that every diabetic patient should know?

Every diabetic patient should have their feet checked each time they go to the doctor.  This is not something that physicians did on a regular basis in the past.  Increased education both for the doctors and patients has helped with implementation of this necessary exam.  The diabetic patient should take off their shoes and socks and make sure the doctor checks their feet.

Dr. Tayeb Hussain is the founder of Evanston Podiatric Surgeons, P.C. in Evanston, IL.  His web site is  He is licensed for Podiatric Medicine, Illinois and Wisconsin, Board Certified in Podiatric Orthopedics, Board Certified in Primary Podiatric Medicine, a Certified Wound Specialist, a Fellow, American College of Foot and Ankle Orthopedics and Medicine, andCertified in Pulse-Dye Laser and Carbon Dioxide Laser Technique.

Thanks for reading!

Have a great week!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Have you heard of "Give it 100?"

Have you heard about Give it 100? I think that it is incredibly interesting.

The theory is that you pick something that you want to do, learn, or change. After you pick something, you sign up on the web site and each day for 100 days, you practice doing what you want to do and take a 10 second video of yourself doing whatever it is and post it on the Give it 100site 

You don’t have to stop at 100, you can continue as long as you want to keep going. The idea is that you can look back at yourself over the 100 days and see the changes. Some use it to learn something new like dancing or playing the guitar and some use the 100 days to work on losing weight.

What would you use your 100 days for? 

There has to be something that you would want to learn or do that you don’t do it because you don’t know how or you don’t think that you are good enough. Here it your incentive to change that. These days you can get instructions from the internet for just about everything.  So, pick your "thing" and then look for an instructional video online. 

Your video does not have to be public. You can set it so that it is only seen by you. You can also have up to three projects at a time if you have several ideas and can’t decide where to start.

An instructional video on how to transfer a video
 from your iPhone to your desktop computer

Now, don’t tell me that you can’t do it because you don’t have a video camera. I think you do. It is called your phone. Your digital camera will probably even take a short video. Maybe one of the side benefits would be that you learn to take and upload the video to this site. (It would be for me! I know how to take a video but I have never uploaded a video from my phone to a web site.

This is my suggestion for the week. Think out what you would use 100 days for and then check out the site. See if there is anything there that others have done that is interesting to you. Is it time for you to learn to ride a unicycle? I bet someone there has done it. How about juggling? How about decluttering your house? That might be great – you could see the before and after which would be gratifying but also you could see how much you got rid of each day.

How to ride a unicycle

There is the tried and true, weight loss. But why not make it more interesting than just weight loss. How about something like walking for 10,000 steps each day for 100 days and showing your measurements at the start and at the end?  On the days in between, you could take a short video of your walking path. (Vary the path you take to make it more interesting.)   You might just find it the incentive to keep going. Seeing the change over that period of time might just get you over the hump of not wanting to exercise.

Are you ready to try it?  Let me know and I will join you.  I am not sure what I will do but we can have a group!  Support is always good, right?

Thanks for reading!

P. S. By the way, to go back to a post a few weeks ago, we are still avoiding our “c” foods. (candy, crackers, and Coke) We did allow a break on Memorial Day weekend and we ate some of the crackers that were still in the house but after Saturday and Sunday, we stopped again. I still have not had a coke. It has now been 58 days. To be honest at this point it isn’t as bad. I have popcorn as a snack occasionally and we have carrots as a snack. On the sweets front, I have had a few cupcakes.(Mother’s Day and Memorial Day) In what I consider a brilliant move, we have switched to having cupcakes instead of cake.This was Silent Sam's inspired idea. So, overall, there have not been sweets around here. And… (are you ready?) WE HAVE SURVIVED!

I will say that I have found abstinence easier than maintenance with these foods.