Preventing the many risks and problems that can accompany diabetes requires vigilance, planning, and proactive measures. This is especially true when it comes to your feet. Folks living with diabetes are at particular risk for serious foot ailments that can lead to painful foot ulcers or amputation if they are not recognized and treated at an early stage.
Fortunately, people with diabetes can take some simple, easy, and common-sense steps to significantly reduce the likelihood of foot ailments associated with diabetes.
The first step in diabetic preventative foot care is awareness. You need to understand not only the seriousness of letting problems go unchecked but also the reasons that such issues are allowed to progress to the point of no return. The most significant factor that contributes to the problem is the reduction in sensation and feeling that often affects the extremities of people with diabetes.
The nerve damage that diabetes often causes can lead to the inability to feel pain, which is how our bodies typically alert us to problems. In turn, this may keep a person with diabetes from realizing they have developed a foot ulcer, infection, fungus, or other issues until they become extremely severe. Diabetes also reduces blood flow to the legs and feet, making it harder for diabetic foot wounds to heal.
That is why the number one thing you can do to prevent diabetic foot problems is to carefully inspect your feet every single day. Look closely at the top and bottom of each foot, and check between your toes using a magnifying glass or mirror if you need to. Keep your eyes peeled for crack, cuts, blisters, redness, nail discoloration or swelling. If you see any such problems, set up an appointment with your podiatrist as soon as you can.
If you have diabetes, make the following habits part of your foot care regimen as well:
- Wash your feet every day with mild soap and lukewarm water, paying particular attention to the areas between your toes. Make sure to dry your feet and toes thoroughly and use talcum powder to keep them dry.
- Stop smoking
- Wear clean, dry socks at all times, including to bed if your feet get cold at night
- Wear shoes that do not cause friction or irritation
- Add these diabetes superfoods to your diet
- Keep blood flowing to your feet by elevating them when sitting, wiggling your toes and moving your ankles up and down at various times throughout the day
- See a podiatrist at least once every year for a complete foot examination
JAWSpodiatry: Your Partners in Diabetic Foot Health
The experienced and skilled podiatrists at JAWSpodiatry in Hollywood, Florida can help individuals with diabetes keep their feet healthy and address problems should they arise. Our exceptional foot and ankle specialists and friendly staff welcome the opportunity to provide you with the highest degree of care in our welcoming, comfortable offices. Please contact us today at (954) 922-7333 to schedule a consultation.