Dont Walk Around Barefooted
When it comes to protecting your feet, walking around barefoot is just about the worst thing you can do if you have diabetes. Leaving your feet open and vulnerable to minor cuts and scrapes, people with diabetic neuropathy are always advised to wear footwear or socks when walking indoors or outdoors. Additionally, we recommend avoiding non-supportive footwear such as slippers, flip flops, or other open-toe shoes because they cannot protect your toes from potential hazards.
How Does Diabetes Affect The Health Of Your Feet
As a health condition that impacts the health and function of the entire body, people living with diabetes often experience symptoms in their lower extremities and feet. Caused by long-term exposure to chronically high blood sugar levels, damage to the nerves and blood vessels in the feet and legs results in the development of mild to severe symptoms of diabetic neuropathy. Some of the most common symptoms of diabetic feet include:
- Skin color and temperature changes
- Constant swelling or edema of the feet and ankles
- Cracked dry skin around the heel of the foot
- Having chronically ingrown and infected toenails
- Open sores on your feet that are taking long to heal
If you or someone you love has been experiencing any of these symptoms, we highly suggest getting your feet checked by your primary care provider.
Signs Of Foot Issues With Diabetes
Poor blood circulation and blood flow can slow the healing process of sores on your feet, putting you at risk for serious life-threatening complications.
Even if you havent lost feeling in your feet, bring the following symptoms to your doctors attention. Signs of feet issues include:
You can avoid serious diabetes complications by seeing your doctor and getting treatment early for conditions that affect your feet.
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How Can Diabetes Affect Your Feet
Diabetes can result in high glucose levels in the blood which can lead to a variety of complications throughout the body. It can damage the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, and nerves. Diabetes can also cause foot complications that, if not treated properly, can lead to necessary use of antibiotics, hospitalization, and/or surgery requiring possible amputation of the toes, foot, and even lower leg.
There can be reduced blood to the foot due to injured blood vessels. Lack of circulation can weaken skin, contribute to wound development, and impair wound healing. Gangrene is another serious complication. Things get more complicated when the wound/gangrene is also infected. Poor blood flow results in decreased ability to fight infection. The inability to effectively heal wounds and/or gangrene can lead to surgery and possibly amputation.
High glucose blood levels damage nerves along the lower extremity causing a decrease in sensation of pain, temperature, and pressure. Diabetic patients can develop pressure points or calluses along the feet. Their inability to feel can cause breakage of the skin and an ulcer to form. Nerve injury can also weaken muscles within the foot resulting in foot deformities.
If you are diabetic, it is important to get regular foot check-ups to prevent complications that can be caused by diabetes. Take control of your health and schedule your appointment with Aloha Foot and Ankle Associates today!
Inspect Your Feet Every Day For Cracks Wounds And Sores
Nerve damage is a complication of diabetes that makes it hard to feel when you have sores or cracks in your feet. Patients with diabetes are looking for any changes in color, sores, or dry, cracked skin, says podiatrist Steven Tillett, DPM, of Portland, Oregon. Place a mirror on the floor to see under your feet or ask a friend or relative for help if you cant see all parts of your feet clearly.
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Support Your Feet With Diabetic Socks
- Unrestricted design that wont leave painful calf marks
- Seamless toes to prevent irritation
- Padded bottom for additional support
- Made from antibacterial and odor-resistant
At Viasox, we are proud to be the worlds first fancy diabetic sock brand. With a wide variety of diabetic socks available for single or bulk online orders, there is no better place to find fashionable and comfortable socks perfect for keeping your feet healthy.
The Most Common Diabetic Foot Problems
Far and away the most common diabetic foot threat is neuropathy . Also called peripheral or diabetic neuropathy, this condition develops as a result of high levels of blood sugar and fats in your blood, which can irreparably damage your nerves.
As we mentioned, the prevalence of diabetic neuropathy is 50% among people with diabetes, which makes the complication a very real concern.
There are other foot problems that tend to affect those with diabetes more frequently because of the vascular and nerve damage, such as:
- Corns and calluses
- Fungal infections
- Ingrown toenails
Even if these conditions dont directly stem from diabetes, they warrant extra care because of the compromised nerve and vascular health in your feet.
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Tips For Diabetic Foot Care
Proper foot care can prevent these common foot problems or treat them before they cause serious complications. Here are some tips for good foot care:
What Are Diabetic Feet
People with diabetes often have problems with their feet. Diabetic feet develop sores, deformities and infections more easily.
If not treated quickly, a diabetic foot ulcer or blister can get infected. Sometimes a surgeon must amputate a toe, foot or part of the leg to prevent the spread of infection.
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Diabetes And Foot Problems
Foot problems are common in people with diabetes. You might be afraid youll lose a toe, foot, or leg to diabetes, or know someone who has, but you can lower your chances of having diabetes-related foot problems by taking care of your feet every day. Managing your blood glucose levels, also called blood sugar, can also help keep your feet healthy.
Diabetes: 12 Warning Signs That Appear On Your Skin
Diabetes can affect many parts of your body, including your skin. When diabetes affects the skin, its often a sign that your blood sugar levels are too high. This could mean that:
You have undiagnosed diabetes, or pre-diabetes
Your treatment for diabetes needs to be adjusted
If you notice any of the following warning signs on your skin, its time to talk with your doctor.
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Can Diabetes Cause Foot Pain
Do you face extreme pain in your legs, and feet-related issues like ulcers, calluses, toe infections? Have you ever wondered why that happens? Well, the root cause of the problem might be diabetes. If you havent tested for diabetes yet then maybe you should. Most patients who have diabetes suffer some sort of feet pain, mostly because of lower blood circulation and damaged blood vessels and peripheral nerves. In such cases, ask your healthcare provider for diabetic foot remedies.
What causes the pain?Diabetes can cause two problems that can affect your feet.
Almost 80 per cent of people who have diabetes are affected by some form of foot problems and are likely to seek diabetic foot remedies.
What should you do?Diabetic neuropathy can also be controlled with proper exercise and acupuncture. Keeping the blood sugar under control is one of the major goals to meet since this can also reduce the pain.
Tip #: Cover Your Feet
Proper footwear, socks, and stockings can go a long way to help protect your feet. Follow these tips:
- Choose well-fitting socks and stockings that contain soft elastic.
- Wear socks to bed if your feet get chilly.
- Avoid sandals and walking barefoot, even at home.
- Wear properly-fitting shoes.
- Choose shoes made of soft materials â such as leather or canvas â and take time to break them in.
- Protect your feet by always choosing slippers or closed-toed shoes.
- If you need roomier shoes due to bunions or other deformities, extra wide shoes are available online and in specialty stores.
Know The Signs Of Diabetic Neuropathy
Since the incidence of diabetic neuropathy is so high, youd do well to familiarize yourself with the early symptoms. This is important because the earlier we identify the problem, the more easily we can slow or reverse the nerve damage.
The most common signs of diabetic neuropathy include:
- Pain or tingling in your feet
- Wounds that dont heal
- Swelling in your feet
- Loss of balance or coordination
- A change in gait
- A loss of muscle tone
At the first signs of any of these symptoms, its important that you seek our help immediately. Left unchecked, diabetic neuropathy has very serious and life-altering consequences that can lead to amputation, which is why early intervention is key.
Go Feet Keeps Your Feet Healthy
At Go Feet, we teach you how to care for your feet. As a diabetic, its 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 athletes 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 youre 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 youre 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.
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See A Podiatrist Regularly To Treat Foot Problems
Even seemingly harmless calluses may become problems if you ignore them, notes Tillett. When building your diabetes healthcare team, consider including a podiatrist, a doctor who specializes in foot care, instead of heading to the pharmacy for an over-the-counter product for feet some products are irritating to your skin and can actually increase the risk of infection even while they treat the bunion, callus, or corn on your foot.
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Smooth Corns And Calluses Gently
Thick patches of skin called corns or calluses can grow on the feet. If you have corns or calluses, talk with your foot doctor about the best way to care for these foot problems. If you have nerve damage, these patches can become ulcers.
If your doctor tells you to, use a pumice stone to smooth corns and calluses after bathing or showering. A pumice stone is a type of rock used to smooth the skin. Rub gently, only in one direction, to avoid tearing the skin.
- use corn plasters, which are medicated pads
- use liquid corn and callus removers
Cutting and over-the counter corn removal products can damage your skin and cause an infection.
To keep your skin smooth and soft, rub a thin coat of lotion, cream, or petroleum jelly on the tops and bottoms of your feet. Do not put lotion or cream between your toes because moistness might cause an infection.
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When To See A Doctor
Some diabetes foot complications are life-threatening, or they put you at risk for amputation. See a doctor if you have any concerns or notice unusual changes with your feet.
A seemingly minor issue like cracked skin on your feet, yellow toenails, athletes foot, or an ingrown nail can become a serious problem if left untreated. Also, see your doctor for any cuts or scrapes that dont heal to avoid an infection on your feet.
How Diabetes Affects Your Feet
The good news is you can take steps to prevent diabetic foot trouble and stop serious complications from developing.
As part of our comprehensive line of services, board-certified podiatrist , and the experienced team at South Sound Foot & Ankle provide patients in Olympia, Washington, with excellent diabetic foot care.
Read on to better understand how diabetes affects your feet and the steps you can take to keep them healthy.
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Gangrene And Charcot Foot
Gangrene treatment involves antibiotics to kill bacteria and stop an infection, as well as surgery to remove damaged tissue. Treatment for Charcot foot involves preventing further deformity.
Wearing a cast to immobilize the foot and ankle can gradually strengthen these bones, as does wearing custom shoes or a brace. In severe cases, surgery can help correct a deformity.
Don’t Go Barefoot Whether You’re Inside Or Outside
Wearing shoes with good coverage outside to protect your feet makes sense to most people, but even inside your house, puttering around without shoes puts your feet at risk for small cuts, scrapes, and penetration by splinters, glass shards, and the misplaced sewing needle or thumbtack. If you have neuropathy, you might not notice these dangerous damages until they become infected. Its best to wear shoes at all times, even in the house.
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Taking Steps To Prevent Diabetic Foot Problems
One of the best ways to offset your risk for diabetic foot problems is to take preventive action, which includes:
- Inspecting your feet daily for any changes
- Gently washing and drying your feet daily
- Wearing shoes that dont crowd your feet
- Keeping your feet dry and protected at all times
- Using custom orthotics
- Regular visits to City Podiatry
Of course, topping this list should be regulating your blood sugar levels adequately.
With our help and experienced oversight, we can help you better safeguard your foot health if you have a diabetes diagnosis. Simply give us a call at 917-810-4204 or use our easy online scheduling tool to request an appointment.
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What You Can Do To Prevent Diabetic Foot Problems
You can take steps on your own to increase foot health, too.
- Gently wash and dry your feet daily
- Inspect your feet each day for any changes, sores, or redness
- Always wear foot protection, even indoors
- Wear shoes that dont crowd or pinch your feet
- Keep your feet dry
- Check and regulate your blood sugar levels
The medical professionals at LA Orthopaedic Specialists can help you safeguard your foot health if you have diabetes. To schedule an appointment, call us at 213-455-8448, or use our online booking tool.
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Types Of Nerve Damage
There are four main types of nerve damage. You can have more than one type. Symptoms depend on the type of nerve damage you have and which nerves are affected.
Peripheral nerve damage
Have you felt pins and needles or tingling in your feet? Maybe you feel like youre wearing socks or gloves when you arent. Your feet may be very sensitive to toucheven a bed sheet can hurt. These are all symptoms of peripheral nerve damage.
Peripheral nerve damage affects your hands, feet, legs, and arms, and its the most common type of nerve damage for people with diabetes. It generally starts in the feet, usually in both feet at once.
Other symptoms may include: