Diabetes is a disease of your metabolism, but it can have systemic effects on your whole body. Your feet are commonly compromised. People with diabetes sometimes require amputation due to foot problems.
Your feet suffer because consistently high blood sugar inflames your system. The best way to keep your feet and whole body healthy, is to manage your blood glucose levels. At Go Feet, we also offer regular foot exams and management, if you should develop a foot complication.
Diabetic neuropathy is a form of nerve damage. Consistently high blood sugar compromises your nerve function, and you experience pain, tingling, and loss of feeling in your feet.
Serious neuropathy can affect your ability to walk, but also has other implications. You may have a blister on your heel or cut on your toe and not notice it until it becomes infected. Ill-fitting shoes, lots of time on your feet, and a pebble or other foreign object in your shoe (which you won’t feel due to neuropathy) can all cause injury.
Diabetes affects your circulation and makes it difficult for blood to flow to your feet. When you don’t have enough blood flowing, it can be hard for small sores to heal. Ongoing infections on your feet can lead to ulcers or gangrene.
If you develop a severe foot infection or gangrene, your only recourse may be amputation. This means you lose a toe, an entire foot, and sometimes the whole of your lower leg. Amputation prevents the infection from invading the rest of your body, but isn’t an ideal solution by any means.
Nerve damage can lead, in rare cases, to changes in your foot shape. Redness, warmth, and swelling occur, and then the bones in your foot start to morph. They shift or become so weak they break. The resulting odd shape can compromise movement.
At Go Feet, we teach you how to care for your feet. As a diabetic, it’s important to check your feet every day for any cuts, abrasions, or blisters and treat them right away. Feel for warmth, corns or calluses, and plantar warts. Raise any concerns with the team at Go Feet.
Wash your feet every day, and dry them thoroughly to prevent fungal infections, such as athlete’s foot. Make sure you get between your toes.
Keep up with your toenails, too. Keep them trimmed straight across to prevent ingrown toenails.
Always wear shoes and socks. Slide your hand into your shoes to check for foreign objects before you place them on your feet. Ask us about your best footwear fit.
You should also take measures to improve blood flow. Elevate your feet when you’re sitting, wiggle your toes often throughout the day, and pump your ankles. Include more physical activity, such as walking, yoga, swimming, or cycling into your routine. If you’re a smoker, consider kicking the habit. Smoking compromises circulation and overall health.
If you have diabetes, you need to be diligent about the health of your feet. The practitioners at Go Feet are here to help you. Call the office, or make your appointment online for a foot check, and learn the best ways to keep your toes and soles healthy.