Nerve damage is a complication of diabetes that can result in poor circulation, making your legs and feet vulnerable. Living well with diabetes means working closely with your healthcare provider to keep your blood sugar within a target range and taking good care of your feet.
The El Centro, California, community can rely on top-quality internal medicine physician Prabhdeep Singh, MD, to help prevent and manage disease and maintain good health across your lifetime.
Type two diabetes is a common lifelong condition that accounts for up to 95% of all diabetes diagnoses. If you're diagnosed with diabetes, foot care is a crucial part of preventing serious complications. In this post, we share some steps you can take to keep your feet in tip-top shape.
Diabetes and your feet
Diabetes commonly causes foot problems. Diabetic foot ulcers are responsible for 85% of amputations performed in the United States.
Poorly controlled diabetes can limit blood flow to your lower legs and feet, resulting in nerve damage. When your nerves are damaged, it's challenging to feel sensations and more challenging for your body to heal from cuts or sores.
Without good blood flow, open sores may develop that are slow to heal and susceptible to infection. Once infection sets in, it can become life-threatening, requiring amputation.
Check your feet daily
Checking your feet each day and making it a part of your daily care routine is one of the most crucial ways to protect your feet when you have diabetes. Reduced sensation to your feet means that you may not feel a cut or a sore at the time it happens. That's why it's vital to check over your feet for cuts, stores, blisters, and discoloration daily.
You can make it part of your routine by doing it each day after you get out of the shower or right before bed. The most important factor is that it becomes part of your daily routine.
Avoid removing corns or calluses on your own, as you may cause damage and make the problem worse. Report any cuts, sores, or changes to your feet to your healthcare provider.
Schedule regular foot check-ups
Just as you see your healthcare provider check other aspects of your health, it's a good idea to schedule regular foot checks or have your feet checked during your regular visits. This allows your provider to ensure that your feet stay in good shape and provide proper treatment if there are any problems.
Keep your feet clean and dry
Wash your feet each day using warm water and gentle soap. Avoid using hot water or soaking your feet as this may cause problems. Check the water temperature with your hands first since it may be difficult to tell how hot the water is with your feet. Dry your feet well and dry between your toes to keep your skin clean and healthy.
Use care when trimming nails
It's important to practice care when trimming your toenails. Be careful to avoid accidentally cutting the skin. It's best to cut the nail straight across and check carefully to ensure that you haven't punctured the skin.
Avoid walking barefoot
When you have diabetes, the goal is to protect your feet at all times. That's why it's recommended that you wear well-fitting shoes to keep from stepping on something that may harm your feet. When you're at home, wear comfortable shoes that provide good protection.
We've shared some practical ways you can protect your feet and reduce the risk of diabetes-related complications. Working together with your healthcare provider is key to living well with diabetes. To learn more about how to manage diabetes best and take the best care of your feet, call our office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Singh or book online today.