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Understanding How Diabetes Affect Your Feet

Understanding How Diabetes Affect Your Feet

What You Need to Know About Diabetic Foot Care

If you’re living with diabetes, you know that you require lifelong care to manage your disease. From managing your blood sugar levels to improving your diet and exercise routine, there are a lot of tasks that go into remaining healthy and avoiding complications.

Unfortunately, some patients are still unaware that their diabetes can cause a number of health issues with their feet that, if left unaddressed, can lead to pain, infection, and even the loss of your limb.

In order to protect yourself from complications and keep your feet healthy and safe, here’s what you need to know when it comes to your feet and diabetes.

Common Foot Issues for Diabetics

Neuropathy

A very common issue for those living with diabetes, neuropathy is the presence of nerve damage within the foot. When this occurs, you may experience tingling or weakness in your foot, or, in more severe cases, you may not feel any pain at all and be unaware of any issues until they become infected, push pressure on your bones, or worse.

Ulcers

Ulcers are deep cracks or sores in the skin, often caused by ill-fitting shoes. Diabetic patients who don't manage their illness are more susceptible to foot ulcers, and, if you don’t have your ulcers examined by your doctor, they can become infected and cause serious complications.

Poor Circulation

Since diabetes can cause the blood vessel in our legs and feet to narrow, you may experience poor circulation, causing pain or cold limbs. You may also feel tingling sensations or numbness.

Skin Changes

Over time, living with diabetes can cause you to experience changes in your skin, such as dryness and cracking, as the nerves in your feet (that would otherwise control the moisture) become damaged.

Diabetic patients are also more susceptible to developing calluses which can cause pain and eventually worsen to become ulcers.

Caring for Your Feet as a Diabetic

Although diabetic patients are at a higher risk of experiencing foot problems, there are still plenty of steps you can take to stay healthy and protect yourself from pain, infection, and further illness.

Keep Your Feet Clean

Hygiene is even more important when you’re living with diabetes. Each day, make sure you’re washing your feet with warm water, drying them entirely, and moisturizing them with a good foot lotion.

You should also ensure that your toenails are well-trimmed and filed so they don’t cut

Choose Proper Footwear

Wearing shoes that fit properly and support your feet and ankles can help avoid injury. When shopping for new shoes, try to go towards the end of the day, since this is often when your feet tend to be at their biggest, and choose shoes that offer good arch support. If necessary, invest in orthotic insoles.

You also should make sure you’re always wearing some form of foot protection at all times, whether it be shoes, slippers, or just socks — going barefoot can leave you at risk for injury.

Don’t Pick at Your Skin

If you find yourself with dry skin, calluses, or corns, do not try to remove them on your own at home. Doing so can increase the chances of the area becoming infected. Visit your trusted podiatry to have these blemishes removed safely.

Keep Moving

To combat the limited circulation that your diabetes may cause, aim to keep moving throughout the day. For starters, wiggle your toes every so often and try to elevate your feet when possible. It also helps to perform foot-friendly exercises, such as swimming and biking.

Visit Your Podiatrist Often

For patients with diabetes, it is vital to recognize and control diabetes-related foot issues before they develop, so you should keep up with regular visits to your podiatrist to spot any issues early on.

Diabetic Podiatric Care in Southeastern Pennsylvania

The team at Bux-Mont Foot & Ankle Care Centers can help lay out preventative techniques and treatments to prevent pain and diabetes complications and save your feet.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment at either our Warminster or Newtown locations.

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