Diabetes can come with a lot of complications, one of which is problems with your feet. In fact, some diabetics end up having their feet amputated due to these complications, so it is imperative to take the best possible care of your own feet. Luckily, if you follow these simple yet important tips, you can help reduce the risk of something happening to your feet.
Inspect Your Feet Daily
As a diabetic, your feet might be numb or tingly, which means that you might not notice any injuries that you might sustain. Therefore, it’s important to thoroughly inspect your feet for problems on a daily basis. If you are unable to see the bottom of your feet, you can ask a family member to help you or can use a mirror for help with visibility.
Then, look for bruises, cuts, scrapes and other injuries, and make sure that you tend to them as soon as possible to prevent infection. If you find that any of your wounds are not healing properly, you will need to see your doctor right away before the problem gets too serious.
Protect Your Feet From Extreme Temperatures
Since you probably can’t feel your feet as well as many people can, it’s important to protect your feet from extreme temperatures.
Be careful about dipping your feet into hot bathtubs or walking on pavement, for example. Even though you might not feel the pain, your feet could be severely burned if you are not careful.
Have Your Feet Examined Once a Year
Although daily examinations can help you find any foot-related problems, it’s still important to see a doctor every year to have your feet checked out. Your physician should be able to inspect your feet for potential problems during your regular annual physical, but if you have had foot-related problems in the past, you might want to add a podiatrist to your healthcare team as well. These annual check-ups will bring any potential problems to your physician’s attention so that they can be treated promptly and properly.
Wear Protective Shoes
You shouldn’t walk around in bare feet if you have diabetes; otherwise, you could step on something or otherwise injure your feet without even realizing it. In fact, you may not even want to walk around in regular shoes. To help keep your feet protected and to maintain good blood circulation, wear supportive socks and comfortable, supportive shoes that fit well. You can even talk to your podiatrist or primary care physician for recommendations about special shoes that can provide added support. In fact, your insurance company might even pay for these supportive shoes since they are diabetes-related.
As a diabetic, you probably already know that you are at an increased risk of foot-related problems. Fortunately, taking good care of yourself, your diabetes and your feet can help. Follow these tips, and remember to properly monitor your blood glucose levels and to take your diabetes medication as directed. If you do, you can worry less about major problems with your feet.