While everyone should consider regular foot checkups and maintain healthy foot hygiene, caring for your feet is even more important as a diabetic individual. Because nerve damage to the feet and legs is so common for people who have diabetes, it is crucial that you consistently check your diabetic feet for cuts, calluses, and other minor injuries. Catching minor damage early on could prevent a significant infection or injury, even resulting in loss of toes, feet, or legs.
How Can I Prevent Nerve Damage in Diabetic Feet?
Managing your diabetes sugar (insulin) levels is a great way to care for your feet. Here are three more ways that you can prevent foot problems by caring for your general diabetic health.
- If you currently smoke, stop smoking. Smoking reduces blood flow, especially to your feet.
- Choose fruits and vegetables over sweets and salty snacks to follow a healthy diet plan.
- Get up and move. Having a consistent exercise plan can help your long-term health.
By keeping your insulin levels in your target range and managing your diet and exercise, you can reduce the risk of injuries to your feet or nerve damage in other areas.
How Do I Know If I Have Nerve Damage?
Some patients with nerve damage have pain, but some have little to no feeling at all. If you find your feet do not sense cold or heat, you may have nerve damage. If you believe your feet are damaged, you must follow the following steps to prevent injuries. Even a slight injury can compound quickly and get out of control.
- Check your shoes before putting them on for anything inside them. You should also check that they are smooth inside and do not pressure your feet.
- Care for any cuts or calluses right away. If you are unsure how to care for them, see your podiatrist. If you are in the NY/NYC area, Best Foot Doctor specializes in foot care for diabetic patients, servicing the Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens areas.
- See your doctor or podiatrist regularly for foot checkups.
- Never go barefoot.
- Always wear socks with shoes. You may also consider specialty socks and shoes designed to help diabetic feet stay healthy.
- Keep them moving. Choose exercises that move your feet, and even while sitting, wiggling your toes from time to time during the day.
- Wash your feet every day in warm water, but don’t soak them.
- Check your feet every day for any injuries, no matter how small.
What Happens If My Condition Worsens?
Diabetic feet can develop injuries or sores that become serious quickly. In addition, injuries unresponsive to treatment or left untreated can turn into gangrene and ulcers that may even require amputation. Diabetic feet may also change shape due to nerve damage, making it difficult if not impossible to walk.
By caring for your feet right away, you can prevent life-changing consequences later on. If you are concerned about your diabetic feet and are looking for a podiatrist, Best Foot Doctor would be happy to schedule an appointment with you. Please call our offices anytime, and we will assist you.