Diabetes Foot Care - Keep Your Feet Feeling Their Best!
An Yang, MBA, RDN
September 2, 2021
Diabetes is not just a blood sugar problem, it can be dangerous for your feet as well. Diabetes can cause nerve and blood vessel damage, reducing blood flow to the feet. This increased difficulty for healing after an injury is responsible for more than 60% of all foot and leg amputations not associated with accidents.
Here are some tips on how to take care of your feet with diabetes.
Inspect your feet daily. Look for redness, swelling, cuts, and wounds. Use a mirror to check the bottom of your feet if needed.
Wear shoes that fit properly. Choose shoes that fully protect your feet, giving enough room for your toes to wiggle. Avoid flip-flops as they increase exposure to bacteria and the risk of injury.
Bathe your feet in lukewarm water, never in hot water. Check the water temperature before you bathe your feet. If your feet get cold at night, wear socks to bed instead of using a heating pad or hot water bottle.
Have your feet checked by your healthcare provider. Up to 85% of diabetic foot ulcers can be prevented with periodic care. So don't be shy and ask for help!
Control your blood sugar. Don’t forget about the root cause! There is a direct relation between nerve damage and blood sugar level. Control your blood sugar with better food choices and physical activities.
Quit smoking. Smoking is one of the leading risk factors for diabetic foot ulcers. Quitting smoking will reduce your risk of developing such diseases.
It is important to not only monitor our blood sugar but to also look at our feet. Taking care of your feet with the tips above will help keep them healthy and prevent any diabetic-associated complications!