Diabetes And Your Feet

For a person with diabetes, keeping your feet healthy is very important. High blood glucose (sugar) can cause two different kinds of foot problems. One problem is nerve damage and the other is poor blood flow, or circulation.

With nerve damage, you may not feel pain, heat, or cold in your legs and feet. You may not know if you have a sore or a cut on your foot, because you cannot feel it. This lack of feeling is called diabetic neuropathy (ne-ROP-uh-thee) and can lead to serious infections.

Poor blood flow makes it very hard to heal from a sore or an infection. Not enough healthy blood reaches your feet, and this contributes to the lack of feeling.

25% of all hospital admissions for people with diabetes are foot related.

  • By taking good care of your feet, you can prevent or manage foot problems. What should you do? The American Diabetes Association suggests you wash your feet in warm water every day, but first check the water with your elbow to make sure it isn’t too hot.
  • Look at your feet carefully everyday and check for blisters, sores, redness, or other problems. If you cannot bend over easily, use a mirror.
  • If your skin is dry, use lotion after you wash and dry your feet. Never put lotion between your toes.
  • Cut your toenails once a week, cutting straight across the top, being careful not to cut the skin. If you cannot cut your own nails, visit a foot doctor. Sharp nails can cause sores and infections.
  • Wear shoes that fit well. There are special therapeutic shoes available for people with diabetes. Ask your doctor if you should wear them. Medicare and other health insurance plans may pay for therapeutic shoes.
  • Take only the medications your doctor tells you to take.
  • Always tell your doctor right away if you start to have foot problems, and have your feet checked at each doctor visit.
Post by Adam R

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