Diabetes and feet

Appropriate foot care is very important for diabetics.

When you have diabetes it is very important to take extra good care of your feet. Many people with diabetes suffer from nerve damage, circulation problems and are more prone to infections. These issues can lead to serious foot problems. Michigan State University Extension says that some signs of foot problems include tingling, burning or pain in your feet. You may not be able to feel cold, heat or touch. You may also see some changes in appearance as well, skin may become dry or cracked, and toenails may turn thick and yellow.

In order to protect your feet it is important to have them examined by a health care provider at least four times every year. Make sure your provider checks your sense of feeling and pulses at least once a year. If you are already experiencing nerve damage, deformed or misshapen feet or circulation problems your feet will need special care. Talk to your doctor to find out if special shoes could help you.

You can also do things to protect your feet yourself. Check your feet every day for scratches, cracks, cuts or blisters. Always check between your toes and the bottom of your feet. If you can’t see well, ask a friend or family member to help you examine your feet. If you notice any breaks in the skin, contact your healthcare provider quickly as sores can develop into problems fast. Wash your feet every day and dry them carefully, moisturizing them regularly. Make sure to avoid moisture between your toes as this can lead to infection. Trim your toenails along the natural curve of your toe, using an emery board to smooth edges. Do not try to remove acorns or calluses yourself. Make sure to protect your feet from hot surfaces. In the winter wear socks and appropriate footwear to protect from cold. Always wear shoes and socks, even when you are indoors. Your shoes should fit well and protect your feet, don’t wear shoes that have thongs between your toes. New shoes should be comfortable when you buy them, try breaking them in by wearing them only one or two hours a day at first. Always wear socks or stockings with your shoes. Choose socks of cotton or wool as they will help to keep your feet dry. Make sure to check your shoes often, as worn out shoes can cause blisters or other issues. Being physically active will increase circulation to your legs and feet, which can help reduce issues related to your feet. The best prevention is controlling blood sugar levels to prevent any further damage and increase your body’s ability to heal.

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