Keep your diabetes in check to prevent serious foot problems.
Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with diabetes? If so, we commend you on trying to research ways to keep your health, particularly your foot health, in the best shape possible. You may also know (but perhaps you don’t) that diabetes can have a serious impact on your foot health. If you have diabetes it’s important that you also have a podiatrist like our own Dr. Ranieri that can provide you with diabetic-specific foot care right here in Woodbridge, VA.
How does diabetes affect foot health?
Diabetes is a long-term metabolic disorder that raises a person’s blood sugar. If high blood sugar isn’t controlled through medication and a healthy lifestyle, these elevated levels can cause nerve damage, particularly to the feet. This problem is known as peripheral neuropathy, and as many as 60 to 70 percent of people with diabetes will eventually develop peripheral neuropathy.
Nerve damage leads to a loss of sensation in the feet. Since a person with neuropathy is less likely to feel their feet they are also less likely to notice when there is a sore, blister or problem that could lead to further issues. Since poor circulation and nerve damage slow healing substantially, this means that even the smallest injuries to the feet can lead to more serious complications including infections.
How can I keep feet healthy with diabetes?
When changing up a routine, especially your lifestyle, it can be a bit confusing at first. We know you may have concerns and questions along the way. This is why adding a podiatrist to a patient’s current team of doctors will be a major asset to anyone with diabetes. If you have diabetes and you want to discuss ways to prevent diabetes-related foot complications, our Woodbridge, VA, foot doctor is ready to help.
Here are just some daily foot care practices that you should adopt, especially if you have been diagnosed with diabetes,
- Examine feet thoroughly each day to look for cuts, blisters, swelling or other issues that could turn serious quickly. Even minor injuries to the feet should be discussed with your podiatrist.
- Wash feet daily with soap and warm water, and once feet are clean make sure to dry them thoroughly (don’t forget to dry between the toes, too!). Keeping feet dry reduces your risk of developing fungal infections.
- Trim nails properly to prevent ingrown toenails. If you have trouble trimming your toenails a podiatrist can also provide this care to patients.
- Monitor your blood sugar daily. The best thing you can do for your health is to keep your blood sugar in check with medication. Managing your blood sugar will go a long way to preventing problems.
- Do not walk barefoot, even if you are indoors. Walking barefoot could lead to injuries, cuts and sores that could get infected.
- If you notice calluses, warts or other foot problems do not try and treat the problem yourself, as these at-home methods could lead to further injury, burns or infection. Our podiatrist can help you out.
Have questions about caring for your feet with diabetes? The podiatry team at Lake Ridge Podiatry in Woodbridge, VA, can certainly help you. Call our office today at (703) 491-2603.