Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Diabetic Foot Care

October 29, 2015 by  
Filed under Featured

A podiatrist explaninf diabetic foot care to a woman

Nerve damage (neuropathy) is very common among diabetics, affecting 20-50% of the population with the condition. Neuropathy can lead to diminished or total loss of feeling in the feet and legs. Normal warning signs like pain and temperature sensitivity can go unnoticed as a result. If an injury is left untreated it can lead to an ulceration. Ulcerations and wounds left untreated can lead to more serious complications like infection or gangrene which leads to amputation in about 1% of the diabetic population. As a diabetic, foot care should be an important part of your daily routine. Here are a few tips:

Wear the proper shoes. Diabetics are more prone to injure themselves without even knowing it due to neuropathy. Wearing the proper shoes will protect your feet thus reducing the likelihood of injury. Diabetic shoes are very common. They are wider, deeper, and more sturdy than other shoes. Extra width is important for allowing your toes to stay dry and not rub up against each other. Extra depth is important because you will probably require orthotics to adjust the way your foot hits the ground to avoid injury. The sturdy material is important for stability the foot and ankle as well as protecting the foot against injury. As neuropathy gets worse it is a common for a diabetic to want to squeeze into smaller shoes because they can’t feel the normal sized shoes anymore. This however will cause more damage to the foot over time. Always make sure that you are in the proper sized shoes to lessen the risk of an injury.

Check your feet daily. Diabetics heal more slowly than they did before they were diagnosed. Even small cuts need to be properly addressed as soon as possible to avoid any potentially dangerous complications. When checking your feet make sure to look for: red spots, cuts, blisters, change in swelling, change in color, change in sensations, ingrown toenails, untrimmed toenails, corns, or calluses. You also want to make sure your feet are dry and clean. Proper socks and shoes will help you keep your feet drier. If you are unable to do so yourself, your healthcare provider will be able to trim any nails, corns, or calluses that you may have.  

Have your feet checked by a professional. Every time you are seen by your physician, they should check your feet. If they are not already doing so, please say something, and they will be more than happy to make sure your feet are healthy. In addition to your normal visits, it is also important that you see a podiatrist at least once a year. The podiatrist will evaluate any nerve damage, any wounds, and your gait. If an orthotic is necessary to adjust the way you are walking they will be able to get you set up with the correct one. If you are not walking correctly, the chances of forming an ulcer that will need attention increase dramatically.

Keep the blood flowing. Proper blood circulation will help to keep your feet healthy. If you have circulation problems, consider using compression stockings to force the blood out of your legs and back into the body. There are also many things you can do while sitting down to improve circulation. First try to elevate your feet when you are sitting. Also move your toes around and move your ankles up and down every once in awhile.  

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