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Ways to Avoid Diabetes-Related Foot Problems

Ways to Avoid Diabetes-Related Foot Problems

Diabetes and prediabetes affect more than 120 million people in the United States. Type 2 is the most prevalent, accounting for up to 95% of diabetes cases. 

Adopting certain diet and lifestyle habits, including a good foot-care routine is part of living well with diabetes. Diabetes increases the risk for certain health complications, some of which involve your feet. With diabetes, a minor foot issue can quickly escalate into a serious health threat.

At AllCare Foot & Ankle Center, located in Dallas and Arlington, Texas, Michael Tran, DPM, specializes in diagnosing and treating a broad range of issues that affect the feet and ankles and routinely helps people with diabetes take good care of their feet. Keep reading to learn how diabetes affects your feet and what you can do to keep your feet healthy.

How diabetes affects your feet

Diabetic foot care is an essential part of your overall health care when you have diabetes. High blood sugar levels affect your feet in two ways. It affects blood flow to your legs and feet (peripheral vascular disease) and impacts the nerves that send and receive sensory information (diabetic neuropathy). 

Over time, it’s common to lose some sensation in your legs and feet when you have diabetes. Furthermore, reduced blood flow makes you susceptible to slow-healing cuts and sores that you may not feel or notice. 

Without optimal blood flow, a small cut can turn into a large open wound. You’re also at risk of developing slow-healing sores on your feet (diabetic foot ulcers) due to poor blood flow. That increases the risk of infection, and if not treated right away, can be life-threatening.

Here are some best practices in caring for your feet if you have diabetes.

Visit your podiatrist regularly

Regular foot health checkups give our team the opportunity to catch any issues with your feet early. Treating issues promptly helps avoid advanced complications. Dr. Tran is trained in the advanced treatment for diabetic foot and leg wounds and can execute treatment quickly once problems arise. 

Perform daily foot checks

Check your feet each day and look for abrasions, cuts, redness, swelling, or problems with your nails. If you have trouble seeing the soles of your feet, use a mirror. Take your time and check your feet carefully. Alert Dr. Tran if you spot any issues.

Keep your feet clean and dry

If you go for a run or hit the gym, bring extra socks and change during the day. Avoid wearing socks and shoes for long periods. Strive to keep your feet clean and dry. 

Wash your feet thoroughly each day, and dry between your toes. Avoid wearing tight socks and instead choose socks with loose elastic tops. Doing so ensures that you don’t restrict blood flow.

Wear well-fitting shoes

If you’re a woman, you may love the style of high heels, but most of them are narrow at the toes, squeezing the toes against each other. That can cause scrapes on the sides of your feet. Both men and women should wear flat shoes with plenty of room for their toes.

Avoid going barefoot 

Avoid going barefoot — even indoors; it’s easy to scrape or cut the bottom of your foot. Even at the beach, pieces of shells in the sand put you at risk for cuts. Consult Dr. Tran on the best footwear for outside and indoors. 

Keeping your feet in tip-top shape is part of life when you have diabetes. With a skilled podiatrist in your corner, you can lower the chances of having serious complications and keep your feet happy.

For diabetic foot care and all your other foot care needs, call our office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Tran. New and existing patients can also use our convenient online form to send a booking request. 

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