March is National Kidney Month, so it’s a good time to talk about the connection between kidney disease and your feet. Kidney disease is a permanent condition that can cause foot problems in some cases. In today’s post, Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists in Bellevue, WA, shares what you need to look for with this condition.
Some problems can occur when the blood vessels and nerves are damaged. This can affect not only the circulation but also the feeling in your feet. Because these changes happen gradually, you may not even notice them. That’s why it’s so important that you receive a foot inspection and assessment by a podiatrist every year. At that time, problems can be identified, and treatment plans discussed.
Kidney Disease and Foot Ulcers
Foot ulcers in people living with kidney disease can lead to serious complications such as an increased risk of strokes, amputations of the leg or foot, or heart attacks. A foot ulcer can become severely infected, so it’s important to monitor it to decrease the risk of infection.
Managing your blood pressure and cholesterol, quitting smoking, elevating cardiovascular exercise, managing any other conditions you have (such as diabetes), and controlling your weight help to reduce the risk of these limb- and life-threatening problems.
If you have a foot ulcer, you will need regular treatment from your podiatrist to develop a treatment plan. During your treatment, if you notice any of these danger signs, you must contact a member of your foot care team for advice as soon as possible.
- Pain or throbbing
- The foot feels hot or becomes inflamed.
- Areas of discoloration
- Discharge from the ulcer
- A new smell
- Flu-like symptoms
- Feeling breathless
- Body temperature above 101 degrees
- Heart rate higher than 90 beats per minute.
In some cases, foot ulcers are hidden under hard skin and can collect dead tissue around them. Your podiatrist will need to remove it to help heal the ulcer. Never try to treat the ulcer yourself.
Some tips to help your foot ulcer heal:
- Keep the dressing dry.
- Moisturize the area surrounding the ulcer.
- Don’t stand or walk on the affected foot.
- If you’re given a cast or temporary shoe, wear it at all times
- Keep your scheduled appointments with your podiatrist.
- Use antibiotic treatment as prescribed.
In some cases, if an infection worsens, you may need an operation to clean the wound. If it’s too serious, amputation may be required to save healthy parts of the foot.
Don’t let your foot ulcer get to that point! Contact Dr. Hubert Lee and his team at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists in Bellevue, WA to schedule your next visit. You can schedule an appointment online or by calling us at 425-455-0936.