In recognition of Foot Health Awareness Month, LifeMasters encourages diabetics to prevent foot complications by following a few simple steps to maintain healthy feet.
As you know, diabetics are more prone to foot complications. These complications include fungal infections, calluses, ulcers, foot deformities, and gangrene -- which may include infection and may in some cases, lead to amputation.
The underlying diabetic cause for these complications is the nerve damage, also called neuropathy and a decrease of blood flow to the foot. Neuropathy causes loss of feeling in the feet, decreasing feeling, affecting balance and leading to a foot injury. Diabetes also causes damage to blood vessels in all parts of the body, including the legs and feet, and can lead to poor circulation. Courtesy of LifeMasters, they are offering some tips protect your diabetic feet:
Control your blood sugar levels! Maintaining normal or near-normal blood sugar levels can reduce blood vessel and nerve damage that often lead to diabetic foot complications. If a wound or foot ulcer does occur, blood sugar control reduces the risk of an amputation. (For fair and balanced review: see Yesterdays Blog)
Wash your feet daily. This goes without say. Who wants dirty feet around? If you are grossed out by feet - pay somebody to do it for you. Get a pedicure or visit a podiatrist.
Check your feet daily for skin breaks, sores, cuts, bruises, and changes to the toenails (ingrown, coloring, etc.). If you cannot see under your feet, trick a loved one into doing it for you. Promise them you'll be their best friend and I'm sure they'll take you up on it. Who doesn't love a person with Happy Feet?
Have an annual foot check with your doctor or podiatrist. Your doctor will examine your feet, and probably perform a monofilament test (a single strand plastic thread stroked on your feet) to see if you are developing nerve damage.
Wear appropriate shoes: Make sure to wear shoes that fit well, and are not too tight. Tight shoes can cause pressure ulcers to develop. Avoid going barefoot, even in your own home, as it may increase your risk of injury to the foot. Wear clean cotton socks and change them daily. I guess this last step requires you to shop. And is that really such a bad thing?