If you are one of the 29 million Americans who have diabetes, then you know that it is a serious disease that requires constant care. But even if you are diligent in your treatment and management of diabetes, there are some things that you can do to protect the health of your feet.
Perhaps you're wondering what diabetes has to do with your feet?
Diabetes can affect your feet in a number of ways. The high blood sugar levels that are associated with the disease can damage the nerves in your feet, which can cause you to lose sensation in your feet. This makes you less likely to notice when there is a problem with your feet, such as a cut or infection. Diabetes can also cause poor circulation in your feet, which can lead to ulcers and other serious foot problems.
Here are seven tips to help you protect the health of your feet if you have diabetes:
Check your feet every day for any signs of problems, such as redness, swelling, blisters, or cuts. If you can't see your feet well, use a mirror or ask someone else to check them for you. If you notice any problems, be sure to contact your podiatrist or healthcare provider right away.
Wash and Dry
Keep your feet clean and dry by washing them daily with warm water and mild soap. Be sure to carefully dry your feet, especially between the toes, to prevent fungal infections.
Keeping your feet moisturized can help to prevent cracks in the skin that can lead to infection. Use a lotion that is free of fragrances and dyes, and apply it after you wash and dry your feet.
Trim your nails straight across and file down any sharp edges to prevent ingrown nails. If you have trouble reaching your feet or trimming your nails, ask someone else to do it for you.
Wear shoes and socks at all times to protect your feet from injury. Avoid going barefoot, even inside your home. When choosing shoes, be sure to select a pair that fits well and provides support. Make sure that your shoes fit well and aren't too tight. Wear socks with your shoes to protect your feet.
Exercise regularly to improve blood circulation and help control your blood sugar levels. Walking is a great exercise for people with diabetes, but be sure to wear comfortable shoes and socks to prevent blisters.
See your podiatrist or healthcare provider at least once a year for a comprehensive foot exam. This is especially important if you have any problems with your feet or are experiencing changes in sensation in your feet.
If you have diabetes, it is important to take steps to protect the health of your feet. By following these seven tips in this article, you can help keep your feet healthy and avoid serious problems. Be sure to see your podiatrist or healthcare provider regularly for comprehensive foot exams.