Are you at risk for developing diabetes? Did you know that there are many signs that it may be forthcoming or that you might already have it?
At our office, we have helped a few patients correctly diagnose diabetes when they have presented with symptoms of tingling or numb feet. These are the first signs of diabetic neuropathy, which happens when blood sugar is too high and nerves become damaged. Untreated neuropathy symptoms can leave you at risk for injuries that you cannot easily treat.
The following diabetic self-exam tips can help you prevent diabetes-related complications for your feet like ulcers, nerve damage, and blood vessel damage. If you cannot do these yourself, have a caregiver or family member partner with you to maintain good foot health.
● Have regular checkups with our podiatrist and physician. While you may be able to perform most of these steps at home, your doctor will be able to assess and diagnose problems once you notice changes in your foot or ankle health.
● As part of your daily routine, wash your feet nightly. Not only is this good for foot hygiene, it’s also a great starting point for a diabetic self-exam. Be sure to use soap and warm water and clean the bottom, top, and in between the toes of the feet. As you wash, feel for any new bumps or cuts on your feet.
● Allow your feet to completely dry, using a towel, and then air-drying in between the toes. With your feet bare, begin the self-exam.
● Feel – Touch all around your feet (giving yourself a foot massage if you want), for tenderness, heat, or bumps that you might not be able to see.
● Smell – Are you noticing that your feet smell, even after you’ve washed them? Are your shoes stinky? This could be a sign of bacterial or fungal infection on your feet. Your shoes should be aired out and sanitized. If you have fungal toenails or Athlete’s foot, consult one of our podiatrists to get treatment.
During your diabetic foot self-exam, you may notice a wound that will persist because of low circulation and blood flow. Ulcers can become deeply infected and will need medical treatment to heal. Contact us right away if you have an ulcer so that we can help you find the right treatment. Make an appointment with our podiatrists at The Podiatry Group. Our team of qualified foot doctors can perform a thorough assessment of your diabetic feet at our Jonesboro, AR office.