HOW DIABETES AFFECTS YOUR FEET
Diabetes is a serious disease that can affect your entire body – including your feet. In fact, about 25% of people diagnosed with diabetes will develop foot problems, so you are not alone. These concerns are the number one reason diabetic individuals visit the hospital.
Most often, the pain and numbness in your feet that can occur with diabetes is caused by nerve damage, referred to as neuropathy. The loss of important nerve function can compromise your ability to walk and stand without falling, or you may not be able to feel a pebble inside your sock causing a sore, or even a blister caused by poorly fitting shoes. Untreated irritations and injuries like these can cause pain, skin ulcers and infections, and can eventually lead to amputation.
TOP TEN FOOT CARE TIPS
Take care of your diabetes. Work with your health care team to keep your blood glucose within a good range.
Wash and check your feet every day. Check your feet every day for cuts, blisters, red spots and swelling.
Wear shoes and socks at all times. Wear comfortable shoes that fit well and protect your feet.
Keep skin soft and smooth. Rub a thin coat of lotion over the tops and bottoms of your feet, but not between toes.
Smooth corns and calluses gently. Gently use a pumice stone to smooth corns and calluses.
Keep the blood flowing to your feet. Do not cross your legs for long periods of time.
Trim your toenails each week or when needed. Trim straight across, and file the edges with an emery board or nail file.
Protect your feet from hot and cold. Keep your feet away from heaters and open fires. Wear shoes at all times - even on the beach.
Be active every day.
Choose activities that are easy on your feet like walking, yoga, swimming or bike riding.
Check in with your primary care physician.
They can recommend diabetic educators, dietitians, eye doctors, endocrinologists and podiatrists for you.