People who struggle with diabetes already have a lot to deal with: blood sugar monitoring, healthy eating, exercise, appointments with doctors, and taking medications. A commonly overlooked addition to that list is daily check-ins with your body, particularly your feet.
Unfortunately, it’s common for people with diabetes to suffer from nerve damage in their feet and legs. When that nerve damage isn’t taken care of, it can cause serious health problems.
Nerve damage related to diabetes can potentially cause people to feel little to no pain. While this may sound like a good thing, lack of feeling when you get a cut or blister, can allow for larger problems down the road if left untreated.
Check Your Feet
At the very least, you should check your feet daily. This can be difficult if you are overweight or have limited flexibility. But, if you have a partner or caregiver, ask them for assistance.
Regular, daily foot care should include:
- Checking for redness, sores, blisters, cuts, or other issues. Mirrors are a great tool to use to see all sides and the bottom of your feet.
- Wash (but don’t soak) your feet daily in warm water. Feet should be dried thoroughly, and lotion applied to only the tops and bottoms of your feet. (Never apply lotion between your toes!)
- Always wear shoes, socks, or slippers to add a cushion to your steps and protect you from snags or extra rubbing.
- Wear well-fitting shoes. When you purchase new shoes, break them in slowly by wearing them for short periods during the first week.
- Trim toenails straight across and use a file to help avoid snagging.
- Don’t remove calluses or corns yourself. Have a doctor assist you.
- It’s essential to keep your blood flowing. When you sit, put your feet up as often as possible and wiggle your toes regularly.
- Choose activities that have a lower impact on your feet, like walking, swimming, or riding a bike.
Healthy foot management can seem like a lot to add to your already full plate of managing diabetes. But, the best way to handle it is to build tiny habits, one at a time, and practice those habits around the same time every day.
We Can Help
Diabetic foot pain is a serious condition. Finding advice on which shoes or custom orthotics are right for you can be difficult. We’re here to help.
We can provide expert recommendations to help you treat diabetic foot and leg issues. We evaluate each patient on a case-by-case basis and will recommend treatment that’s best for our patients.
If you have not had a yearly diabetic foot exam, are experiencing pain or discomfort, or are worried about future pain and discomfort, we can help set up a diabetic foot care plan that’s right for you. Our staff would be happy to answer any questions you have about diabetic foot care, shoes, screening, or any treatment options discussed. Schedule an appointment at Lakes Foot and Ankle Associates by calling our office or by filling out our online contact form.