Taking care of your feet is extremely important when you have diabetes. The disease damages nerve function, causing you to lose feeling in your feet – ultimately making you more vulnerable to injury. Diabetes also reduces blood flow, making it harder to heal an injury or resist infection. Even the smallest cut, blister or sore could have consequences – possibly putting you at risk for an amputation. The American Diabetes Association estimates that one in five people with diabetes seek hospital care for foot problems and injuries.
As a podiatrist, more than half of the patients I see in my office each day suffer from diabetes. Their injuries can progress quickly if not well controlled, affecting many areas of the body, not just the feet. I use multidimensional approaches to help the patient obtain control of their blood sugar.
Here are some helpful diabetic foot care tips to keep those feet and toes healthy during warmer weather and year-round:
- Check your feet daily, looking for any redness, swelling, blisters, cuts or soreness. If you can’t see the bottom of your feet, use a mirror or ask someone to help.
- Wash your feet daily. Dry them thoroughly, especially between the toes.
- Walk frequently, and be more active. Speak to your healthcare team about the proper amount of exercise. Visit a foot care specialist or podiatrist once or twice a year for a thorough exam.
- Wear comfortable shoes that fit well and protect your feet.
- Ask your healthcare provider about diabetic shoe coverage. Having properly fitting shoes will decrease the risk of complications.
- Check inside your shoes before wearing them. Make sure the lining is smooth and there are no objects inside.
- Avoid extreme temperatures to the bottom of your feet. Protect them from hot and cold.
- Avoid crossing your legs. Elevate feet when sitting if you are prone to swelling of feet and ankles.
- Seek the assistance of a podiatrist or foot care specialist if you develop corns, calluses, ingrown nails or other worrisome foot care related issues.
- Take care of your diabetes. Work with your healthcare team to keep your glucose within target range, and keep your HbA1c within normal limits.
If you would like to learn more about diabetic foot care, or different approaches to keeping your glucose within target range, book an online consultation with us now. Integrative Health Management provides multidimensional approaches and techniques to assist the whole body in healing from pain and stress.