If you’re dealing with health complications caused by your diabetes, it can be time-consuming and frustrating to stay healthy and manage your symptoms—and if you develop some sort of neuropathy because of your diabetes, your feet are definitely at risk.
Fortunately, with the right strategies and some good old discipline, you can actively manage your foot-related diabetes ailments and avoid further complications. In this blog, the Arlington podiatrists at AllCare Foot & Ankle Center will give you some tips and tricks for protecting your feet and keeping them healthy so you can manage your diabetes symptoms effectively and life your best life.
Diabetic neuropathy can cause temporary or permanent numbness in your feet—and if you can’t feel your feet, you could injure them without even realizing it. This won’t just be an unpleasant surprise to you when you finally discover your foot is injured—you could be putting yourself at risk for infection and even gangrene if your foot injuries aren’t treated in a timely manner.
If you have diabetic neuropathy, two things are essential. First, you must check your feet every single day for damage, and take appropriate action to keep your feet free of cracks and lacerations (protective foot lotion is a great start). Put a mirror on the floor to inspect your feet thoroughly, or have someone else inspect your feet if there are parts of your feet you can’t see.
Second, wear shoes as often as possible, even around the house. Harsh surfaces and loose impediments in the outside world can causes cuts, bruises and other injuries, and so can a loose thumbtack or staple on your kitchen floor. The ultimate goal is to protect your feet, and wearing shoes as often as possible is the easiest way to accomplish that
If your feet have damaged nerves, there’s a good chance you won’t have a normal feel for what is hot and what is cold. In fact, some people with diabetic neuropathy will scald or burn their skin without even noticing!
If you scorch your feet in a hot shower or tub, you could develop burns and blisters which can open up the door to infections and other complications. Always check the temperature of a body of water before you slide into it by using a hand or an elbow in order to play it safe.
Ill-fitting, tight, and uncomfortable shoes are a no-go for people with diabetes and diabetic neuropathy. Shoes like high heels restrict blood flow in the feet, and can cause blisters that can accelerate neuropathic conditions and increase the risk of infection.
If you have diabetes, opt for comfortable tennis shoes that provide plenty of cushion, support, and breathability for your feet. This will keep your feet dry and comfortable, reduce the risk of blisters and cracking, and keep blood flowing through your feet for minimal pain and complication.
Fungal infections are your sworn enemy if you have diabetes—all it takes is some moist toes and some skin breaking down to lead to a fungal infection that can put you at risk. Your foot hygiene is critical— so always dry off your feet and the spaces between your toes to keep them clean and infection-free.
Ultimately, the best way to avoid complications with your diabetes is to manage your diabetes effectively and live a healthy lifestyle. Complications with diabetic neuropathy will only get worse if you don’t manage your glucose levels or get some exercise—so live in as healthy of a manner as possible and follow your doctor’s instructions when it comes to managing your diabetes and your health.
If you’re in need of diabetic foot care, schedule an appointment with the team at AllCare Foot & Ankle Center. We’re happy to provide you with top-notch podiatric care in our state-of-the-art medical facilities, and educate you on the most effective practices for taking care of your feet. Don’t wait—schedule an appointment with us today!