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Posts for tag: Diabetes

By Mid-Michigan Foot & Ankle Center
April 18, 2018
Category: toenail conditions
Tags: Diabetes   podiatrist   fungus   nails   black toenail   cancer  

When you notice that you have a black toenail on your foot, it can be quite alarming. The usual healthy color of toenails is a pink-like tone. When you see a black toenail, you panic and immediately think the worst.  Some of the savvier sufferers go to their trusted friend Google and type away, trying to figure out what is going on. A black toenail can be caused by a multitude of reasons. Only a trained podiatrist can determine the exact cause and provide proper treatment. So, while you are waiting for your scheduled podiatry appointment, read through the facts and falsehoods about black toenails.

Falsehood #1 – Home remedies will fix your black toenail. If you are suffering from a fungus that is turning your nail black, it may seem easier to grab some anti-fungal cream and treat the nail at home, but the fungus can be very hard to cure. Fungus should be treated by a podiatrist in their office for the best possible results.

Falsehood #2 – You can only get fungus on your toenails if you do not bathe. This is completely untrue. Even the cleanest person in the world can still get a foot fungus. This is because fungus likes to grow in dark, wet places. This makes shoes the perfect breeding ground for fungus. Even if you wear closed toe shoes and are very clean, you can still get toenail fungus and black nails.

Falsehood #3 – It will not have severe effects on your health, so it can be ignored and go untreated. This falsehood can be very dangerous. Black toenails can be a sign of underlying diseases such as diabetes or kidney disorders. If a black toenail is left unchecked, these other disorders may not be found in time.

Falsehood #4- Black toenails are quick and easy to treat. While in some cases it is relatively easy to get rid of a black toenail with a pinprick and the release of built-up blood, in other cases it can be very hard to get rid of black toenails. This is because sometimes cancer, fungus, and other conditions can cause the toenail to blacken. These conditions must be treated before the treatment of the black toenail can be effective.

If you are suffering from a black toenail, whether from a fungus or a traumatic injury, it is important to see a podiatrist immediately. Call Dr. Andrew H. Cohen of Mid-Michigan Foot & Ankle Center, located in Saginaw and Bay City, Michigan. Call 989-790-8009 or make an appointment online today. A black toenail is not permanent.

By Mid-Michigan Foot & Ankle Center
March 21, 2018
Category: Diabetic Feet
Tags: Diabetes   Ulcers   Injury   podiatrist   peripheral neuropathy   soak   wound  

People who suffer from diabetes are at a very high risk of receiving foot ulcers. This is because some people who suffer from diabetes also suffer from peripheral neuropathy and other conditions that cause a lack of sensation in the feet. This lack of sensation makes it so it is hard for a diabetic patient to feel pain and other injuries occur on their feet.  If you do not have diabetes, you can still receive an ulcer on your foot, but it is more likely to be found immediately due to the ability to clearly feel the injury and pain. If you do find an ulcer on your feet it is important that you make an appointment to see a podiatrist immediately. A podiatrist will clean and disinfect the ulcer so that an infection does not appear and spread. Wondering how they might do it? Here are the basic steps a podiatrist may take to clean your ulcer and protect it from further harm.

  1. Your podiatrist will find the ulcer.
  2. Next, your podiatrist will measure your ulcer. They want to know how large it is and will continue to measure it to be sure it is not growing in size.
  3. Clean your feet. Your podiatrist will clean out the ulcer in their office. They will take disinfectant and gently wash out the ulcer. In order to keep it clean, you may have to soak your feet at home in between appointments. This allows them to be cleaned out and helps speed up the healing process.
  4. A podiatrist will then apply a healing ointment to help the ulcer heal.
  5. After the ointment is applied, a podiatrist or his assistant will put on gauze or another type of dressing to cover up the ulcer so dirt, debris, and other bacteria cannot reach the ulcer.
  6. The gauze will be adhered to the foot with silk tape or medical tape. If the gauze moves around it can irritate the ulcer or allow for bacteria to enter the wound.
  7. In between appointments be sure to change your dressing or bandage multiple times a day. If the ulcer is stuck in the same bandaging or dressing, it will fester due to the bacteria that is built up and rubbing it.
  8. Use a sock to slip over the bandaging or dressing. This secures the dressing and makes sure it does not come loose.

If you find an ulcer on your foot, you should see a podiatrist right away. While it is proactive to clean the ulcer, it is imperative that it is seen by a medical professional to be sure there is no underlying cause or infection that could cause greater damage. Call Dr. Andrew H. Cohen, of Mid-Michigan Foot & Ankle Center, located in Saginaw and Bay City, Michigan. Call 989-790-8009 or make an appointment online today. When it comes to wound care, we are the best.

By Mid-Michigan Foot & Ankle Center
January 25, 2018
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Diabetes   Gout   Ulcers   arch   purine   conditions  

Our feet are amazing, not only because they get us from place to place, but also because they can alert us to underlying health conditions we may never knew we had. Some of the simplest signs can lead to a much more involved diagnosis. Read more to see what your feet are trying to tell you.

Dry Flaky Feet

Dry flaky feet can be a sign of a thyroid problem, especially if moisturizer doesn’t help. When the thyroid gland stops working properly, it doesn’t produce the right amount of thyroid hormones. This means that metabolic rate, blood pressure, tissue growth, and skeletal and nervous system development can all get out of whack.

Bald toes

Bald toes can be a sign of arterial disease. If the fuzz on your toes suddenly disappears, it could signal poor blood circulation caused by peripheral arterial disease (PAD).

Ulcers that don’t heal

Ulcers on the feet that don’t heal are a sign of diabetes. Uncontrolled sugar levels can damage nerves and cause poor circulation which is a recipe for foot ulcers.

Enlarged, painful big toe

Swollen and painful big toes can be a sign of gout. Think back to what you have eaten recently. Foods high in uric acids such as alcohol and steak can lead to gout if too much is consumed. Gout is a type of arthritis that usually affects the joint of the big toe. Foods high in purine, a chemical compound found in red meats, fish, and certain alcohol, can trigger an attack by raising levels of uric acid in the body. Uric acid is normally excreted in urine but is either overproduced or under-excreted in some people.

A suddenly high arch

Is your arch very high all of a sudden? It could be a sign of nerve damage. Most high-arched feet are associated with some form of underlying neuromuscular condition.

If you have any symptom listed above on your feet, it is important to see a podiatrist right away. Many of these underlying conditions can be severe if not treated properly. Call Dr. Andrew H. Cohen of Mid-Michigan Foot & Ankle Center, located in Saginaw and Bay City, Michigan. Call 989-790-8009 or make an appointment online today. The health of your feet can tell you about the health of your body overall.

By Mid-Michigan Foot & Ankle Center
December 20, 2017
Category: toenail conditions
Tags: Diabetes   Paronychia   psoriasis   jaundice  

It can be frustrating to take off your shoes and see that your nails have begun to yellow. Yellow nails are usually a sign of an illness or infection and should be treated quickly. Although not all causes of yellow nails are serious, it is important not to take an unneeded risk. Here are some causes of yellow nails that aren’t as common but are still very serious.

Psoriasis - Is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes patches of red, flaky skin covered with silver colored scales. It is sometimes causes nail discoloration, typically yellow, brown or green. It can show up on the feet or any other place the body has skin. It can also make it look like there is a drop of oil underneath the nail. Psoriasis can be painful and should be treated by a podiatrist right away.

Paronychia - This is a bacterial infection of the nail or surrounding skin. Its symptoms include redness, inflammation and pus around the edge of the nail. Thickening and discoloration of the nails can also occur. This discoloration often appears yellow. It can be found in the toenails as well as on fingernails. It is important to see your doctor right away for proper treatment.

Diabetes - Type 2 diabetes is often accompanied by poor circulation and nerve damage in the feet which can lead to yellowing or blackening of the toenails. Good foot care is vital for anyone suffering from this condition, so if you have developed yellow toenails and are diabetic, consult your doctor promptly. Patients with diabetes are at a higher risk for foot related problems and should have them checked regularly. Being proactive is key when you suffer from diabetes.

Nail Polish - If you use nail polish regularly, then you are at risk for nail discoloration. Red and orange nail polishes are especially likely to turn your toenails yellow. This is because in many nail polishes, there is iron oxide. This iron oxide causes a chemical reaction with the nail and turns them yellow.  It can be remedied by stopping the use of nail polish and by seeking the help of a podiatrist.

Jaundice - Is a condition in which the liver starts to slow or shut down and is unable to process the bilirubin that the body naturally produces. It turns the skin of the feet and the rest of the body yellow. Sometimes it can even turn toenails yellow.

Do you have any of the conditions listed above? Suffer from a different foot problem not listed? Call Dr. Andrew H. Cohen of Mid-Michigan Foot & Ankle Center, located in Saginaw and Bay City, Michigan. After a consultation, Dr. Cohen will diagnose which condition is causing your yellow nails and feet. Call 989-790-8009 or make an appointment online today. Your foot health is our top priority.


By Mid-Michigan Foot & Ankle Center
May 04, 2017
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Flat Feet   Diabetes   podiatrist  

If your feet hit the ground with a print that shows most of your foot, chances are you have flat feet. The best way to test that theory is to wet the bottom of your foot and make a foot print on a dry concrete surface. This will show your fallen arches and get you on the right track.

At Mid-Michigan Foot and Ankle Center we test and treat flat feet so you can move forward with a better step. This condition is usually associated with pronation (when your ankle bone leans inward as you walk) and when flat feet become painful it means the tendon in your foot has become inflamed or torn. Ignoring this condition can lead to permanent disability but if you take time to follow some of these simple suggestions you may see permanent results instead.  


  • Stretched or damaged tendons
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Abnormality from birth
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Aging
  • Pregnancy

These causes are contributing factors with flat feet in one way or another and eventually take you back to the importance of medical treatment. Most people who have flat feet do not experience pain however, there are symptoms that may help you diagnose the problem yourself.

Here are some “ if’s “  to help.

  • If you notice that your feet are easily tired.
  • If you have pain in your arch or heels.
  • If you experience any difficulty standing or have back and leg pain.
  • If you have trouble standing on your toes.
  • If the inside bottom of your feet become swollen.


  • Consult a podiatrist for medical treatment as soon as possible.
  • Weight loss can take the pressure off the bones, ligaments and tendons in your feet.
  • Physical therapy may be recommended depending on the diagnosis.
  • Supportive shoes will help long term changes. Avoid tight shoes, high heels or unnaturally shaped shoes.
  • Orthotics that are custom made can give the best results.

If you think you may have flat feet or would like to confirm your own diagnosis, contact Dr. Andrew H. Cohen at Mid - Michigan Foot and Ankle Center located in Saginaw or Essexville Michigan. For an appointment call 989-790-8009 and let us help keep your feet in the best shape!