Monthly Archives: February 2011

The Economy on the Low by Diabetes on the Rise

Diabetes-1The Centers for Disease Control released new figures estimating the number of people with diabetes at nearly 26 million. This is an increase of 2.4 million from 2008. Furthermore, the number of Americans with pre-diabetes is up to 79 million. This is a shockingly high increase of 22 million from 2008. These distressing figures indicate that podiatrists such as, Dr. Vimal Reddy, will become increasingly more important in helping the growing number of people living with diabetes and pre-diabetes.

Those with diabetes gradually lose their ability to control their blood sugar. High blood sugar affects blood vessels. When the blood vessels become diseased, problems arise in the foot including loss of sensation and ulcers. Unfortunately, before blood sugar gets high enough to diagnose an individual with diabetes, high blood sugar can and will affect the body. This is why the increasing number of people with pre-diabetes is an important problem to deal with. Many of our patients at the First Coast Foot Clinic in Jacksonville, FL have these same problems, which Dr. Vimal Reddy can address.

Fortunately, we are becoming better at treating diabetes, and people with this disease are living longer and healthier lives. We are also getting better at diagnosing diabetes. Therefore people with this condition can find out sooner to be able to get the treatment they need. If you are at risk or think you may be at risk for diabetes, your podiatrist can advise you on the steps to take to prevent this disease. If you think you may have diabetes, set up an appointment with Dr. Reddy for a foot screening.

Turf Toe can be Tough Times

X-20110220213228968With warmer weather around the corner, lots of people are ready to get out of the house, lace up their tennis shoes and get outside. With this said, I would like to take a minute to focus on one of the smallest and many times over looked, body part: the big toe. When we run, we push our foot off the ground stretching the big toe backwards. In sports like football, soccer and track, the toe can be stretched too far, causing irritation. This is known as Turf Toe. You will feel pain on the bottom of your toe joint as you are pushing your foot off the ground when running.

Turf Toe is very similar to Achilles Tendonitis. In each case, you are stretching a body part too far, causing irritation and inflammation. In each case, the treatment consists of:

  • RICE – Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation
  • Aspirin – Dr. Reddy will advise if this is appropriate or not
  • Getting to the root cause of the condition – make an appointment at Jacksonville’s First Coast Foot & Ankle Clinic

If you are wearing shoes that are too flexible, you can easily over-extend your big toe. While athletic shoes should not be too stiff, they should not be too flimsy either; they need to be just right. So if you’re training for the upcoming Gate River Run, hitting the gym to get ready for bathing suit season, our just outside getting rid of those winter blues, you want to be able to enjoy these activities pain free. When you make your appointment remember to bring your training shoes with you so Dr. Reddy can properly evaluate if you are getting the protection you need.

What’s Your Achilles?

achilles_tendon_ruptureWhether you’re playing in the Super Bowl, having fun with friends or jogging down A1A in Jacksonville Beach, Achilles tendonitis can easily flare up. The Achilles tendon is the thick cord on the back of your lower leg. It connects the powerful calf muscles to the heel. When it happens, you will notice pain an inch or two above your heel. This is the watershed zone of the tendon, the spot where all the blood vessels come in to supply nutrients. Unfortunately, this is also going to be ground zero for the body’s inflammatory response. This is a fancy way of saying your body detects the small problem, overreacts, and the small problem becomes bigger and bigger.

The Achilles tendon was named after the invincible Greek warrior Achilles. The only weak point for this Trojan War hero was his heel. And what a weak point it is! Injuries to the Achilles tendon are among the most serious in the lower extremity to be treated by Dr. Vimal Reddy at the First Coast Foot and Ankle Clinic. 

Long-term treatments consist of correcting the root cause of Achilles Tendonitis; either your muscles and tendons are stiff because you are doing too much too soon, or you are overpronating (flattening out your feet). In the case of stiffness, you can correct the problem by adding a regimen of stretching before and after exercise. Overpronation can be corrected with custom orthotic shoe inserts.

In the short run, you should rest your sore Achilles. Aspirin may be appropriate to use depending on your situation. For more information, consult with Dr. Reddy to determine the best treatment for your painful Achilles.

What the Heck is Gout?!

If you are possibly at risk for gout, that New Year resolution could have you wondering what foods are best to avoid and best to target. When trying to grab something to eat after a long day of shopping at the Jacksonville Town Center or enjoying Historic San Marco, you want to make sure you picking the right foods for yourself.

 

Gout is a disease which involves swelling, redness, and pain in the joints, usually in your big toe, foot, ankle or heel. Attacks of gout flare up quickly — within a day — but usually last no longer than a week. Gout is most common in middle-aged and older men, although it can also be seen in women after they have gone through menopause. In each case, age and genetics are factors.

 

Another issue, which can increase ones predisposition to gout, is diet. For this reason Hippocrates, an ancient Greek physician, called gout “the disease of kings”. In Hippocrates’s day, kings were the only ones wealthy enough to eat the rich foods that cause gout.

 

In an old episode of King of the Hill, Bobby (a middle-school aged boy) contracts gout after eating the wrong kind of food.

 

If you are at risk for gout, here are some foods to limit or avoid:

  • Shellfish
  • Liver
  • Alcohol — especially beer
  • Fructose — sweetener in soda

To help lower your risk of gout target:

  • Coffee
  • Concentrated cherry

Overall, reducing calories will help reduce ones risk for gout attacks. If you think you may have gout, consult with Dr. Vimal Reddy at First Coast Foot & Ankle Clinic for more treatment and prevention tips.