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Nerve damage, circulation problems, and infections can lead to serious foot problems if you have diabetes. However, there are precautions you can take to maintain healthy feet.
Good management of your diabetes and an overall healthy lifestyle helps to keep this disease under control. This should include regular medical exams, monitoring of blood sugar, regular exercise, and a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
You can help prevent serious complications involving your feet by following a good foot care regimen.
There are a few habits you should adopt and try to do every day. If you are physically unable to inspect your own feet, use a mirror or ask someone to help:
Adherence to good foot care habits will go a long way toward keeping your feet healthy:
It is possible for people with diabetes to perform routine toenail care, but visual difficulty, nerve problems, or circulatory changes in the legs or feet can make this unsafe.
If you do trim your toenails properly, you will avoid getting an ulcer or foot sore. Please consult with your health care provider to see if it is safe for you to perform routine toenail care and ask him/her to show you the correct way. Here are a few tips:
If you have neuropathy, or nerve damage that has affected foot sensitivity, you may overlook cuts or bumps. You can help protect your feet by wearing shoes at all times.
It is important to recognize early warning signs of foot problems, such as:
If you have any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately. Delay may result in serious health complications.
. Following the tips above can help you to avoid foot problems. As stated above, high blood sugar levels can over time cause nerve damage and circulation problems that damage your feet. Left unnoticed or untreated, sores, ingrown toenails, and other problems can lead to infection.
Infections that do not heal can cause skin and tissue to die (gangrene). The dead tissue turns black. Treatment can involve surgery to remove a toe, foot, or part of a leg (amputation).
A doctor should examine your feet at every visit and do a thorough foot exam once a year. If you have a history of foot problems, you should be checked more often. Your health care provider should also give you information on foot care and answer all your questions. Report any corns, calluses, sores, cuts, bruises, infections, or foot pain.
If necessary, your doctor can recommend a podiatrist who specializes in diabetic foot care or give you information about special shoes that may help.
Remember: Diabetes-related foot problems can worsen very quickly and are difficult to treat, so it is important to seek prompt medical attention.
Written by: Ann Pietrangelo
Published on: Jul 25, 2012
Medically reviewed on: Apr 04, 2016: [Ljava.lang.Object;@5e0e9e82
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