If you’re living with diabetes, you already know that you need to stay mindful of your diet and medication schedule to stay healthy. It’s also important to pay attention to the health of your feet due to the special risk factors you have for diabetes-related complications.
We provide resources to help you incorporate foot-care strategies into your daily life, so you can minimize your risk for ulcers and other complications.
Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects your body’s ability to convert sugar from your diet into the energy you need to function. When you don’t produce enough of the insulin hormone to regulate your blood sugar, your levels can remain high.
Over time, high blood sugar levels can damage the fibers of your nerves — a condition known as diabetic neuropathy.
Nerve damage affects how you feel sensations in your legs and feet. You can experience tingling, numbness, and weakness that worsen over time. Your risk for more serious complications also increases, especially if you don’t get the medical help you need.
The biggest concern with diabetic nerve damage is the inability to feel sensations in your feet. This makes you susceptible to unnoticed cuts and infections. Without daily foot checks, wounds can worsen and spiral out of control. Infection can spread to other areas of your body, and small cuts can progress into large, open wounds.
Because diabetes also affects your blood circulation and your ability to heal, foot wounds can be slow to heal and lead to painful ulcers and tissue death. If not properly managed, foot ulcers and infections can lead to the loss of your toes, feet, and ankles through amputation.
Daily foot care is essential for people with diabetes. You need to check the skin on the bottom and top of your feet and in between your toes regularly for small cuts, abrasions, and blisters. If you notice any of these issues, schedule a diagnostic evaluation at Foot and Ankle Specialists, so our providers can care for your wounds properly.
You should also take precautions to prevent unnecessary foot injuries. This includes wearing shoes that have sufficient room for your feet and toes to prevent irritation, calluses, and blisters. Be mindful of where you walk and always wear shoes to prevent accidental trauma.
Drying your feet off well and keeping them moisturized at all times are also essential parts of diabetic foot care. Use a high-quality lotion to prevent dry, cracked skin. Wear breathable socks and shoes and change out of sweaty or damp socks as soon as possible to prevent infections like athlete’s foot.
Routine foot checks at our office can also lower your risk for diabetes-related complications. Our providers complete comprehensive foot exams to assess the health of your skin. We also address any wounds in the earliest stages, so you can avoid complications.