Diabetes and foot care

Wound prevention is vital for those diagnosed with diabetes.

Feet

There are many complications that accompany diabetes. Most of us just worry about what we eat and our blood sugar level, but a person with diabetes, you may run the risk of getting foot ulcers. To avoid this complication, you must check your feet daily. Foot ulcers are sores generally on the bottom of your feet in a weight bearing area. They are sores that do not heal if unattended to. A further complication of this is that open sores affect deeper tissue which can lead to bone and nerve damage, called peripheral neuropathy. Some of the other issues that come with peripheral neuropathy could be poor circulation and hammer toes. Those that suffer from poor circulation and foot ulcers are most at risk, says Steven Kavros, who specializes in vascular wound care at the Mayo Clinic.

With poor circulation, you may not feel an ulcer on your foot, therefore it is extremely important to self-examine your feet daily. If unattended, these sores will become worse and major health risks may become a factor. See a doctor and don’t let the wound go for days without care.

To control the wounds and the development of wounds, a person with diabetes must be proactive and monitor:

  • blood sugar levels,
  • kidney disease,
  • eye disease,
  • weight,
  • smoking,
  • and alcohol consumption.

If any of the above are out of control, your chances are increased of developing foot ulcers that, left untreated, may lead to amputation.

Try these easy steps to prevent wounds:

  • Check your feet daily. Look for blisters or open wounds and, if you have them, see a doctor immediately.
  • Wear the correct shoes. Make sure shoes fit properly to prevent damage if you stub your foot. Cotton socks or those made from natural fibers that breathe are better than socks made of man-made fibers.
  • Take care of your feet. Keep your feet clean and dry them well after cleaning them. Don’t soak your feet for the risk that skin may become easier to tear.
  • Exercise gently. You must exercise to help control your weight and diabetes. It is always important to talk to your health practitioner with regard to the best exercise for your condition.

Take these practices to heart. If the above tips can help prevent you from losing a limb, then it will give you a better quality life!

You can find more information about foot care for diabetes through the National Kidney Foundation and the Centers for Disease Control and PreventionMichigan State University Extension provides education in chronic disease prevention and management.


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