Taking care of your feet is essential if you have diabetes since this illness naturally makes your feet more vulnerable to health issues. This is due to the fact that diabetes can lower blood flow and damage the nerves in your feet. Tasha Kennon is the Medtronic Diabetes Clinical Manager and a Diabetes Foot Specialist and she has shared 15 tips that can help you to take care of your feet to ensure you have healthier feet with diabetes.
At this time of the year, you likely want to go swimming at your local beach or even visit a pool. However, before you put on those flip flops or put your feet in the sand, you need to think about proper foot safety as a diabetic.
Unfortunately, when you have diabetes, you have a much higher risk of foot injury or infection because of lower blood flow and nerve damage. Unfortunately, 1 in 5 people with diabetes are forced to seek medical care due to foot issues according to the ADA (American Diabetes Association). Due to the higher risk of injury, small issues can become much bigger issues. If you get a small cut or even a blister on your foot, this can potentially cause an infection. This can escalate into a much bigger problem where you can potentially lose a toe or as much as an entire leg.
We will now cover a couple of foot care guidelines for those who suffer with diabetes so that you can remain safe and take care of your feet throughout the summer and the entire year.
Examine your feet on a daily basis and check for any cuts, sores, blisters, redness etc. In the event that you can’t examine each foot properly, be sure to get help from someone you trust or use a mirror.
Make sure to wash your feet thoroughly every day. Once you’ve finished washing them, thoroughly dry your feet, and this includes between each toe.
Aim to be more active on a daily basis and walk regularly. You should talk to your doctor about how much exercise you should get.
Get your toenails professionally cut if you are unable to cut them yourself. Once you can do it yourself, be sure to avoid cutting too short and always file them using a nail file.
When applying lotion or cream, make sure to avoid using too much and only use a thin layer. Also, don’t apply cream or lotion in between your toes.
Go to your podiatrist or a reputable foot care specialist at least once every year to get your feet checked.
Avoid walking barefoot and this includes at the pool or on the beach.
When wearing shoes, ensure that you only wear shoes that are appropriately sized, comfortable and offer full foot protection. Find the perfect shoes at Orthoticshop.
Be sure to speak to your doctor about shoe coverage as a diabetic. When you wear shoes that fit well, this will greatly lower your risk of experiencing foot issues and complications.
Before you put on your shoes, be sure to check the interior first. They should be free of any foreign objects and the shoe lining should be smooth.
Always protect your feet from extreme hot or cold temperatures, especially the bottom of your feet. Avoid placing your feet in water that is hot and always test the temperature of the water before you place your feet in first.
Avoid using electric blankets, hot water bottles and even heating pads. Unfortunately, these can actually burn your feet accidentally.
When sitting, don’t cross your legs. If you usually experience swelling of your feet or ankles, make sure to elevate your feet when you do sit. Also, move your toes and feet when you sit.
Don’t smoke since this can cause serious issues and complications.
In the event that you get an ingrown nail or callus, be sure to visit your foot care specialist.
It is essential that you take good care of your feet once you have diabetes. You should always strive to keep your blood glucose levels and A1c in the normal range to keep your diabetes under control.