Diabetes is a disease that occurs when the pancreas either does not make enough insulin, the body does not respond to the insulin properly, or a combination of both. The result is an increase in blood sugar. People with diabetes must take extra care of their feet. Diabetes causes diminished sensation, or decreased ability to feel pain. Diabetes can damage your nerves and reduce blood flow to your feet. This may make it more difficult to heal from an injury or resist a foot infection. There are several essential tips to care for diabetic feet.
Manage Your Diabetes
Keeping your blood glucose (blood sugar) levels within the optimal range is very important when you have diabetes. Work closely with your health care provider in order to manage your diabetes, keeping problems associated with this disease at bay. This is the single most important goal of any diabetic. Diabetes can be a devastating disease but, with proper control, can be very manageable.
Wear Socks and Shoes
Do not go barefoot if you have diabetes. You should wear socks designed for diabetic feet, and shoes to protect your feet from injuries. Check the insides of your shoes before putting them on, removing any stones or foreign objects that may irritate or injure your feet.
Maintain an Active Lifestyle
Take steps each day to increase your physical activity. Take a short walk or use equipment designed for low impact exercise for effective cardiovascular exercise that can be performed in the comfort of your home. Moving increases the blood circulation to your feet and legs. This aids in avoiding many of the problems caused by advanced diabetes. Start small, possibly by simply walking out your door and down the street, setting a timer for seven minutes, and turning around when it goes off. Any physical activity is better than none, and starting slowly will prevent other injuries or damage to your body.
Inspect Feet Daily
Set aside time each day to look feet over, noting any changes or bleeding. Take extra care to check between your toes, looking for lesions. Using a mirror, examine the bottom of your feet as well. Your Podiatrist should also complete an annual exam on your feet.