What Can Diabetes Do to My Feet?

diabetic-foot-careDiabetes is a common disease that harms both your body and your feet. Diabetes affects major body systems including your immune, circulatory and nervous systems. These systems are critical to the health of your feet. Your podiatrists at Lakes Foot & Ankle Associates in Commerce Township, Michigan want you to know how to protect your feet, especially if you suffer from diabetes.

According to the American Diabetes Association, over 29 million people in the United States have diabetes, and it is the 7th leading cause of death. Diabetes is a serious disease and needs serious attention. Because diabetes affects your immune system, it lowers your ability to fight off infection. If you get a small cut, blister or laceration on your feet, instead of healing quickly, it may become infected.

Your nervous system is also affected by diabetes; it’s called diabetic neuropathy. Your nervous system may be so impaired that the nerves in your feet are affected. You may not even feel your feet if you are walking, which can result in injury and you may not even know it.

When your immune, circulatory and nervous systems aren’t working properly, your feet aren’t getting the support they need. Your podiatrists at Lakes Foot & Ankle Associates want to help you keep your feet healthy. You need to:

  • Avoid hot water, electric blankets and heating pads because you can burn your feet without realizing it
  • Check your feet every day, even using a mirror to see the bottom of your feet
  • Wash, dry and apply lotion to your feet daily, except between your toes
  • Keep your toenails trimmed straight across to prevent toenail problems
  • Always wear comfortable shoes and socks; don’t ever go barefoot
  • Wiggle your ankles and toes at least 3 times daily to increase circulation

You should see your podiatrists at Lakes Foot & Ankle Associates at least once per year, so they can see how you and your feet are doing. They will help guide you through diabetic treatment and make sure you and your feet are healthy. If you have diabetes, don’t wait until you have foot problems to see the podiatrist. Call your podiatrists at Lakes Foot & Ankle Associates in Commerce Township, Michigan today and take care of your feet!