Diabetic Foot Health

Nearly two million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes every year so in honour of National Diabetes Month, we wanted to focus on one of the issues that faces people living with Diabetes: Foot Care. We don’t think much about our feet in our daily lives, but they are crucial for mobility and independence. Diabetes can cause nerve damage (neuropathy) and reduce blood flow to the feet. Small problems (cuts, corns, blisters, etc.) can become big ones quickly and lead to infection or festering wounds. Unchecked and untreated, infections and woulds if this kind can lead ultimately to amputation. You can however reduce your risk of foot injury by treating your feet with special care.

Encourage Blood Flow

  • Physical activity and exercise will increase blood-flow to your extremities. Talk with your doctor about an appropriate fitness program.
  • If you smoke, quit. Smoking restricts blood-flow and increases your risk for peripheral neuropathy.
  • Never sit with your legs crossed and prop your feet up when possible.
  • Avoid restrictive socks, the kind with tightly banded ankles.
  • If your lifestyle is particularly sedentary, make a point to wiggle your toes and rotate your ankles for five minutes three times a day.Protect and Inspect
  • Make a foot bath part of your daily routine: Consider purchasing a portable foot bath and keeping a small basket with a soft washcloth and good quality moisturizer next to the couch. Use lukewarm water to bathe your feet and dry them gently with a soft washcloth. Make sure to dry between your toes afterwards. Use a good moisturizer on the tops and bottom of your feet but not between your toes. Excess moisture between the toes can lead to fungal infection. Examine your feet while washing and moisturizing. Check for redness, blisters, swelling or cuts.
  • Protect your feet with shoes and slippers to avoid everyday cuts and scrapes. Break new shoes in slowly to prevent the formation of blisters.
  • Be careful when cutting your nails. File them smooth and flat but don’t cut too short. If you are unable to reach your feet or tend to your nails yourself, have the doctor care for them on each visit.
  • Don’t try to manage corns, callouses or bunions on your own. Your diabetes makes proper treatment of these problems incredibly important.
  • Check your shoes with a quick sweep of your hand before you put them on. Neuropathy may make it difficult to feel objects inside your shoes with the bottom of your foot.
  • Keep your feet warm and dry. Remove your socks and shoes and dry your feet immediately if you get caught out in the snow or rain.Above all else, follow your doctor’s treatment plan, test your blood glucose frequently and treat your body well. When managed, Diabetes can be a part of your life without ruling it.

Nisha represents a site called http://www.mhaauchlochan.org.uk. She enjoys writing about health and fitness.

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Find more diabetes related posts:

  • Foot Exercise Has Been Proved Good For Diabetics’ Health
  • Diabetic Foot – Watch Your Step For Proper Care and Prevention
  • Diabetic? Taking Good Care of Your Feet Is Vital!
  • Good Diabetic Footwear Can Keep You Walking For Long
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