People who have diabetes often have to face many challenges and adjustments in their lives. In addition to other conditions they may have to control, eating carefully, avoiding some foods, constantly monitoring blood sugar, and exercising appropriately are more demanding than before.
In the realm of foot care, there is a very real chance that diabetics can develop some sort of neuropathy – nerve damage that occurs when high blood sugar injures nerve fibers. It can affect nerve fibers throughout your body, but most often, neuropathy occurs in the legs and feet. There is a loss of feeling, a reduction in blood flow, and poor circulation of fluids, which makes it possible for you to injure your feet without realizing it. In fact, some people find out they have diabetes because of diabetic neuropathy.
To best care for your feet when you have diabetes, we suggest you follow these tips:
- Take care of your diabetes. Keep on top of your blood sugar, eat a healthy diet, and exercise regularly.
- Examine your feet each day. Check for cuts, blisters, signs of infection, or swelling that you may not have noticed.
- Wash your feet with soap and warm water each day. Be sure to check the temperature of the water before you put your feet in it.
- Dry your feet completely, and then moisturize. This will help prevent bacterial and fungal infections and dry skin.
- Perform foot maintenance regularly. Cut your toenails straight across. Treat any cuts and scrapes with first aid. Additionally, inspect your feet for problems like ingrown toenails or blisters. Smooth corns and calluses gently or have your podiatrist do it for you.
- Wear clean socks, slippers, and/or indoor shoes at all times to protect feet from accidental injury. Make sure there are no rocks or other objects in your shoes before putting them on.
- Exercise regularly to keep blood flowing and circulation going. To reduce any swelling, put your feet up when you’re sitting. Try not to sit still for long periods of time, moving your feet periodically when sitting.
In addition to the above tips, make sure you check in with your physician, and especially your friendly podiatrists at The Podiatry Group. If you’re worried about diabetic neuropathy in your feet, or if you have an injury on your foot that just won’t heal, make an appointment with us today! Our podiatrists, Dr. Mark E. Reiner, Dr. Michael A. Haughey, Dr. William G. Coates, and Dr. Erik D. Rosenlof can help you treat conditions related to diabetic neuropathy at our Jonesboro, AR office.