If you have diabetes, it means you need to live a lifestyle that keeps you healthy and from developing complications from this chronic condition. One part of your body that needs special attention and care is your feet.
With good foot care at home and regular check-ins with Thomas Rambacher, DPM, FACFAS, FAPWCA, at Podiatry Hotline Foot & Ankle, in Mission Viejo, California, you can keep your feet healthy and maintain your active lifestyle. Find out more about the link between diabetes and your feet, and what you can do to take care of them.
Diabetes and your feet: what’s the connection?
Diabetes causes you to have overly high blood glucose or blood sugar in your blood circulation. This makes it more challenging for your circulatory system and your nerves to pump blood and send nerve signals to your extremities, including your feet.
These limitations put you at risk for developing diabetic neuropathy and peripheral vascular disease. Both conditions make it harder for you to feel sensations in your feet from permanent nerve damage and make healing cuts and injuries in your feet more difficult because of reduced blood circulation to your feet.
When you have more difficulty noticing and healing injuries to your foot, they’re more likely to develop complications, including open sores on your feet called diabetic wounds. Diabetic wounds can become infected and eventually develop serious complications.
Foot care with diabetes
If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, Dr. Rambacher develops a treatment plan with you to prevent and treat any concerns that arise with your feet. Your care plan usually includes lifestyle recommendations, including eating a healthy diet and obtaining or maintaining a healthy weight.
In addition, Dr. Rambacher examines your feet and toes and makes recommendations for your foot care. These recommendations often include:
A daily care routine
To keep your feet as healthy as possible and catch possible problems quickly, it’s important for you to have a foot care routine you practice daily. This includes inspecting your feet and toes thoroughly and noticing any cuts, blisters, sores, calluses, or other abnormalities on your feet.
Additionally, you can minimize your risk of these developing by using mild soap and warm water to gently wash your feet daily. After washing your feet, dry them thoroughly, and use lotion or oil to soften and moisturize them.
Keeping your feet safe
During your daily activities, taking preventative measures to keep your feet safe reduces your risk of developing problems. You can dramatically reduce your risk of irritating and cutting your feet by wearing shoes when you walk, even when you’re in the house or walking on the beach.
Keep your circulation stronger by minimizing sitting with your legs crossed and changing positions regularly when standing for long periods of time. Aim to also keep your feet at a moderate temperature, taking care not to let them get too hot or cold.
Wearing special footwear
In general, choose shoes that fit comfortably, support your feet well, leave room in the toebox, and are breathable, reducing your feet’s risk of swelling. Always wear socks with your shoes that are clean and dry, don’t bunch up, and are thick enough to offer support.
Dr. Rambacher might also recommend you wear special diabetic socks and shoes to protect your feet. Diabetic shoes are custom-fitted and provide your feet with maximum protection.
Attending regularly scheduled check-ups with Dr. Rambacher ensures he catches any potential issues with your feet early. You should also contact Dr. Rambacher anytime you notice a cut or other issue with your feet, instead of trying to treat or monitor it yourself.
With consistent podiatry appointments and a healthy lifestyle centered on your feet, you can help your feet thrive with diabetes for years to come. If you’ve been diagnosed with or are concerned you might have diabetes and would like assistance with your foot care, contact us to make an appointment today.