Podiatric Physician and
As a member of the health care team, your doctor of podiatric
medicine (DPM) is vitally concerned about hypertension (high
blood pressure) and vascular disease (heart and circulatory
problems). There are several reasons for this concern. First,
because you are a patient, your podiatric physician and surgeon
is interested in all aspects of your health and your treatment
program. Second, he or she supports the goals of high blood
pressure detection, treatment, and control.
Your podiatric physician should know if you have any of the
following cardiovascular or related conditions:
and/or cardiovascular disease -- Hypertension sometimes
causes decreased circulation. A careful examination is required
to determine if there is lower than normal temperature in
any of the extremities, absence of normal skin color, or diminished
pulse in the feet. The concern is that these are signs of
arterial insufficiency (reduced blood flow). Increased or
periodic swelling in the lower extremities is important because
it may mean that hypertension has contributed to heart disease.
heart disease -- Persons who have had rheumatic heart
disease must be protected with prophylactic antibiotics prior
to any surgical intervention. If you take medication for this
condition, tell your podiatric physician. Any medication you
may be taking for high blood pressure, a heart condition,
or any other reason should be reported to the DPM to ensure
that it does not conflict with medications that may be prescribed
in the treatment of your feet.
-- This condition frequently affects the smaller arteries,
resulting in diminished circulation and decreased sensation
in the extremities. Let your podiatric physician know if you
have ever been told that you have diabetes, particularly if
you are talking medication or insulin for this condition.
-- Open sores that do not heal, or heal very slowly, may
be symptoms of certain anemias, including sickle cell disease.
Or they may be due to hypertension or certain inflammatory
conditions of the blood vessels. Your DPM is on the alert
for such conditions, but be sure to mention if you have ever
had this problem.
feet -- Persistent swelling of one or both feet may be
due to kidney, heart, or circulatory problems.
feet -- Although it can have a number of causes, a burning
sensation of the feet is frequently caused by diminished circulation.
of High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a major risk factor for cardiovascular
disease. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can cause fatal
strokes and heart disease. As a health care provider, your
podiatric physician assists in controlling this public health
problem. There are three major areas in which he or she provides
this important public service:
-- Many podiatric physicians routinely take every patient's
blood pressure and determine if it is elevated.
-- After confirming that blood pressure is elevated and
making this information part of each patient's record, the
DPM refers all patients with elevated blood pressure to their
primary care physicians for evaluation, diagnosis and treatment.
Control -- By encouraging patients in every visit to adhere
to treatment, and by monitoring reductions in blood pressure,
side effects of treatment, and referring for reevaluation
as needed, the podiatric physician facilitates long-term control.