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Why Do People With Diabetes Need Foot Care?

Diabetes Foot Care Guidelines

Diabetes Foot Care Guidelines

Diabetes can be dangerous to your feet—even a small cut can produce serious consequences. Diabetes may cause nerve damage that takes away the feeling in your feet. Diabetes may also reduce blood flow to the feet, making it harder to heal an injury or resist infection. Because of these problems, you may not notice a foreign object in your shoe. As a result, you could develop a blister or a sore. This could lead to an infection or a nonhealing wound that could put you at risk for an amputation. To avoid serious foot problems that could result in losing a toe, foot or leg, follow these guidelines. Inspect your feet daily. Check for cuts, blisters, redness, swelling or nail problems. Use a magnifying hand mirror to look at the bottom of your feet. Call your doctor if you notice anything. Bathe feet in lukewarm, never hot, water. Keep your feet clean by washing them daily. Use only lukewarm water—the temperature you would use on a newborn baby. Be gentle when bathing your feet. Wash them using a soft washcloth or sponge. Dry by blotting or patting and carefully dry between the toes. Moisturize your feet but not between your toes. Use a moisturizer daily to keep dry skin from itching or cracking. But don't moisturize between the toes—that could encourage a fungal infection. Cut nails carefully. Cut them straight across and file the edges. Don’t cut nails too short, as this could lead to ingrown toenails. If you have concerns about your nails, consult your doctor. Never treat corns or calluses yourself. No “bathroom surgery” or medicated pads. Visit your doctor for appropriate treatment. Wear clean, dry socks. Change them daily. Consider socks made specifically for patients living with diabetes. These socks have extra cushioning, do not have elastic tops, are highe Continue reading >>

Why Good Foot Care Is Important For Diabetic Patients

Why Good Foot Care Is Important For Diabetic Patients

People with diabetes often experience problems with their feet, caused by the changes to the body that come with the disease. Good foot care can help you prevent conditions that can cause damage – sometimes permanent – to your feet and toes. We want you to understand how diabetes can affect your feet and what you can do to keep them healthy. Diabetes causes many changes in the body, particularly the feet, including nerve damage (neuropathy), the hardening and narrowing of blood vessels, changes in the skin and changes in the size and shape of toes and feet. You need to be aware of the potential dangers of these changes and how you can help to prevent harm. Neuropathy Nerve damage can cause a feeling of tingling, burning or stinging pain or loss of sensation (feeling) in your feet. That means that you are less likely to feel pain or extremes of heat and cold. As a result, you may not notice if your feet are injured by a hot pad or electric blanket turned on too high, not enough protection from cold and even something as simple as a pebble caught in your shoe that has created a blister. Left untended, these injuries can cause ulcers (open sores) or permanent damage. Blood Flow Hardening and narrowing of blood vessels makes it more difficult for your body to fight infection and heal wounds and other injuries. Even a small cut or sore, if not noticed and left unattended, can quickly become a serious problem. Skin Changes caused by diabetes often include dry skin that causes drying, peeling and cracking. These conditions need to be treated properly, so that the skin remains soft and supple but without causing overly moist skin that can lead to infections. Many people with diabetes find that callouses on their feet form more often and grow quickly. If they are not tended Continue reading >>

How Can Diabetes Affect The Feet?

How Can Diabetes Affect The Feet?

People with diabetes are prone to foot problems caused by prolonged periods of high blood sugar. There are two main foot problems, each of which can have serious complications. Diabetes is a disease where the body cannot produce insulin or cannot use it effectively. Insulin is the hormone that is responsible for helping the cells take in sugar to use for energy. When this does not happen properly, the levels of sugar in the blood can become too high. Prolonged periods of high sugar levels in the blood can wreak havoc on many areas of the body, including the feet. Diabetic foot problems The two main foot problems that affect people with diabetes are: Diabetic neuropathy Over time, diabetes can cause nerve damage that makes it hard for people with diabetes to feel sensation in their extremities. The condition also makes it difficult for a person to feel an irritation on their foot or notice when their shoes are rubbing. This lack of sensation and awareness leads to an increase in the risk of cuts, sores, and blisters developing. Peripheral vascular disease Diabetes leads to changes in the blood vessels, including arteries. In peripheral vascular disease, fatty deposits block these vessels beyond the brain and heart. It tends to affect the blood vessels leading to and from the extremities, reducing blood flow to the hands and feet. Reduced blood flow can lead to pain, infection, and slow healing wounds. Severe infections may lead to amputation. Symptoms Symptoms may vary from person to person and may depend on what issues a person is experiencing at the time. Symptoms of diabetic foot problems can include the following: loss of feeling numbness or tingling sensation blisters or other wounds without painful skin discoloration skin temperature changes red streaks wounds with Continue reading >>

Foot Care When You Have Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy

Foot Care When You Have Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy

For people with diabetes, the smallest blister, bug bite or foot sore could lead to a difficult-to-heal foot infection, a skin ulcer and even the possibility of amputation. Risks are high – with diabetes, your lifetime risk for a foot ulcer is 25%.1 And between 9 and 20% of foot ulcers lead to amputations in the US..2 The causes: Nerve damage due to peripheral diabetic neuropathy that can rob you of protective skin sensations plus circulation problems and high blood sugar that can interfere with rapid healing. That is why diabetes experts recommend that everyone with type 1 or type 2 diabetes protect their feet with daily foot checks, smart choices in socks and shoes, and comprehensive foot exams by a healthcare practitioner at least once a year. These strategies could save your feet: In one study of 352 people with diabetes from the Regenstrief Institute for Health Care in Indianapolis, those who learned and practiced good self-care for their feet for a year were 59% less likely to have a serious foot wound than those who didn’t .3 And they’re recommended for everyone with diabetes, not just people who already know they have nerve damage. The reason? Diabetic peripheral neuropathy can cause a dangerous loss of protective sensation before you realize it. In an Australian study of 32 people with diabetes, researchers found that just one in four could detect a foot injury like a small blister -- but 78% of study volunteers thought their feet were still sensitive to small problems.4 An Easy Plan To Help Protect Your Feet Do a Daily Foot Check. Sit down, take off your shoes and socks and check the top, bottom and all parts of the toes of both feet every day. Use a mirror or ask your spouse or partner to help if you have trouble seeing all areas of your feet. Check for Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Foot Problems

Diabetes And Foot Problems

Foot problems are common in people with diabetes. You might be afraid you’ll lose a toe, foot, or leg to diabetes, or know someone who has, but you can lower your chances of having diabetes-related foot problems by taking care of your feet every day. Managing your blood glucose levels, also called blood sugar, can also help keep your feet healthy. How can diabetes affect my feet? Over time, diabetes may cause nerve damage, also called diabetic neuropathy, that can cause tingling and pain, and can make you lose feeling in your feet. When you lose feeling in your feet, you may not feel a pebble inside your sock or a blister on your foot, which can lead to cuts and sores. Cuts and sores can become infected. Diabetes also can lower the amount of blood flow in your feet. Not having enough blood flowing to your legs and feet can make it hard for a sore or an infection to heal. Sometimes, a bad infection never heals. The infection might lead to gangrene. Gangrene and foot ulcers that do not get better with treatment can lead to an amputation of your toe, foot, or part of your leg. A surgeon may perform an amputation to prevent a bad infection from spreading to the rest of your body, and to save your life. Good foot care is very important to prevent serious infections and gangrene. Although rare, nerve damage from diabetes can lead to changes in the shape of your feet, such as Charcot’s foot. Charcot’s foot may start with redness, warmth, and swelling. Later, bones in your feet and toes can shift or break, which can cause your feet to have an odd shape, such as a “rocker bottom.” What can I do to keep my feet healthy? Work with your health care team to make a diabetes self-care plan, which is an action plan for how you will manage your diabetes. Your plan should inclu Continue reading >>

Diabetes - Taking Care Of Your Feet

Diabetes - Taking Care Of Your Feet

Diabetes can damage the nerves and blood vessels in your feet. This damage can cause numbness and reduce feeling in your feet. As a result, your feet may not heal well if they are injured. If you get a blister, you may not notice and it may get worse. Check your feet every day. Inspect the tops, sides, soles, heels, and between your toes. Look for: Dry and cracked skin Blisters or sores Bruises or cuts Redness, warmth, or tenderness Firm or hard spots If you cannot see well, ask someone else to check your feet. Call your health care provider right way about any foot problems you have. DO NOT try to treat these problems yourself. Even small sores or blisters can become big problems if infection develops or they DO NOT heal. Foot ulcers are a common reason for hospital stays for people with diabetes. Wash your feet every day with lukewarm water and mild soap. Strong soaps may damage the skin. Check the temperature of the water with your hand or elbow first. Gently dry your feet, especially between the toes. Use lotion, petroleum jelly, lanolin, or oil on dry skin. DO NOT put lotion, oil, or cream between your toes. Ask your health care provider to show you how to trim your toenails. Soak your feet in lukewarm water to soften your toenails before trimming. Cut the nails straight across. Curved nails are more likely to become ingrown. Make sure the edge of each nail does not press into the skin of the next toe. Your foot doctor (podiatrist) can trim your toenails if you are unable to. Most people with diabetes should have corns or calluses treated by a foot doctor. If your doctor has given you permission to treat corns or calluses on your own: Gently use a pumice stone to remove corns and calluses after a shower or bath, when your skin is soft. DO NOT use medicated pads or Continue reading >>

12 Healthy Feet Tips If You Have Diabetes

12 Healthy Feet Tips If You Have Diabetes

iStock/VisualCommunications Everyone gets a blister or callus now and then, but these little bothers are much more serious for people with diabetes, whose feet are particularly vulnerable to infection. Poor blood circulation, which is common with type 2 diabetes, makes healing more difficult. And because of nerve damage, you might not feel sores, blisters, or cuts. So check your feet every night before you pull the covers back. The ritual will become second nature in no time. Make sure to pay attention to these other diabetes complications too. iStock/mediaphotos There are many reasons that a person with diabetes might have a hard time checking his or her feet thoroughly: back problems, obesity, and arthritis may reduce the flexibility you need to inspect your feet closely. Diminished eyesight makes the task more difficult, too. In any case, enlist your spouse's help. The slight inconvenience that it might be to ask for someone's help is a lot better than finding out about foot injuries too late. Keep a small mirror under your bed iStock/mihalec It's pretty easy to see the tops and sides of your feet, but many people aren't agile enough to get a good look at the bottoms. Buy a mirror that's about the size of a sheet of notebook paper and place it mirror-side up under your bed. At bedtime, use your toes to slide the mirror out from under the bed. Examine your feet in the mirror and then slide the mirror back into its hiding place. Keep your eyes open for irritations large and small iStock/Jan-Otto When you conduct your foot check, keep an eye out for open sores and cuts. Signs of infection include swelling, redness, drainage, oozing, or warmth. Call your doctor immediately if you see any of these symptoms around a sore, at the site of a splinter or cut, or around your to Continue reading >>

Diabetes - Foot Care

Diabetes - Foot Care

Diabetes can reduce blood circulation and damage the nerves to the feet. Ask your doctor to examine your feet regularly for any evidence of nerve damage or poor circulation. Foot problems can be avoided if you take care of your feet and act quickly if you have a problem. On this page: Foot care is particularly important if you have diabetes. Foot problems are a common complication of this condition. Your feet can be affected in two ways. Blood supply may be affected, resulting in slower healing. You may also lose some feeling in your feet due to nerve damage. A person whose nerves are damaged by diabetes may not realise they have minor cuts or blisters, which can lead to ulcers. Foot problems can be avoided if you take care of your feet and act quickly when you have a problem. Get your feet checked at least once a year by a doctor or podiatrist to detect problems early and help prevent complications. Circulation in people with diabetes Poor blood circulation can affect the blood supply to your feet. When this is reduced, cuts and sores may not heal. An early sign of poor circulation to the feet may be pain or cramps in the backs of your legs when walking. Circulation problems can be caused by hardening or narrowing of arteries as they become clogged up. Common causes include: smoking high blood fats raised blood glucose levels. How to improve circulation for people with diabetes Suggestions to improve your blood circulation include: Control your blood fat levels. Keep blood glucose levels as close to normal as possible. Don’t smoke. Smoking causes spasm and narrowing of blood vessels. Smokers have more heart attacks, strokes and circulation problems than non-smokers. Exercise daily. A brisk walk will help keep the blood flowing around your body. Foot care for people w Continue reading >>

Foot Care

Foot Care

When you have diabetes you need to take care of your feet every day Having diabetes can increase your risk of foot ulcers and amputations Daily care can prevent serious complications Check your feet daily for changes or problems Visit a podiatrist annually for a check up or more frequently if your feet are at high risk Your feet are at risk because diabetes can cause damage to the nerves in your feet, blood circulation and infection. Having diabetes can increase your risk of foot ulcers and amputations. This damage is more likely if: You have had diabetes for a long time Your blood glucose levels have been too high for an extended period You smoke – smoking causes a reduced blood flow to your feet, wounds heal slowly You are inactive. It's important to check your feet every day. If you see any of the following- get medical treatment that *day * Ulcer Unusual swelling Redness Blisters Ingrown nail Bruising or cuts If you see any of the following- get medical treatment within 7 days Broken skin between toes Callus Corn Foot shape changes Cracked skin Nail colour changes Poor blood glucose control can cause nerve damage to feet. Symptoms include: Numbness Coldness of the legs A tingling, pins and needles sensation in the feet Burning pains in the legs and feet, usually more noticeable in bed at night. These symptoms can result in a loss of sensation in the feet which increases the risk of accidental damage because you can’t feel any pain. An injury to the feet can develop into an ulcer on the bottom of a foot which can penetrate to the bone. This could lead to infection of the bone (osteomyelitis) and a chronic infection in the bones and joints. If an infection isn’t treated at the earliest signs, this could result in ulceration (an infected open sore) and eventually Continue reading >>

Diabetic Foot Care Article

Diabetic Foot Care Article

A A A Diabetes mellitus (DM) represents several diseases in which high blood glucose levels over time can damage the nerves, kidneys, eyes, and blood vessels. Diabetes can also decrease the body's ability to fight infection. When diabetes is not well controlled, damage to the organs and impairment of the immune system is likely. Foot problems commonly develop in people with diabetes and can quickly become serious. With damage to the nervous system, a person with diabetes may not be able to feel his or her feet properly. Normal sweat secretion and oil production that lubricates the skin of the foot is impaired. These factors together can lead to abnormal pressure on the skin, bones, and joints of the foot during walking and can lead to breakdown of the skin of the foot. Sores may develop. Damage to blood vessels and impairment of the immune system from diabetes make it difficult to heal these wounds. Bacterial infection of the skin, connective tissues, muscles, and bones can then occur. These infections can develop into gangrene. Because of the poor blood flow, antibiotics cannot get to the site of the infection easily. Often, the only treatment for this is amputation of the foot or leg. If the infection spreads to the bloodstream, this process can be life-threatening. People with diabetes must be fully aware of how to prevent foot problems before they occur, to recognize problems early, and to seek the right treatment when problems do occur. Although treatment for diabetic foot problems has improved, prevention - including good control of blood sugar level - remains the best way to prevent diabetic complications. People with diabetes should learn how to examine their own feet and how to recognize the early signs and symptoms of diabetic foot problems. They should also l Continue reading >>

Diabetes Foot Care

Diabetes Foot Care

If you have diabetes, nerve damage, circulation problems, and infections can lead to serious foot problems. However, you can take precautions to maintain healthy feet. Managing your diabetes and maintaining a healthy lifestyle helps keep your feet healthy. This should include: regular medical exams, including foot checks at every visit and checking your ABCs (A1c, blood pressure, and cholesterol) monitoring your blood sugar daily regular exercise eating a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables You can help prevent serious foot problems by following a good foot care regimen. Here are a few foot care habits you can adopt and try to do every day. 1. Inspect your feet Check your feet and toes, inspecting the tops, sides, soles, heels, and the area in between the toes. If you’re physically unable to inspect your own feet, use a mirror or ask someone to help. Contact your doctor immediately if you discover any sores, redness, cuts, blisters, or bruises. 2. Wash your feet Wash your feet every day in warm water with mild soap. Hot water and harsh soaps can damage your skin. Check the water temperature with your fingers or elbow before putting your feet in. Your diabetes may make it difficult to sense water temperature with your feet. 3. Dry your feet Pat your feet to dry them and make sure to dry well. Infections tend to develop in moist areas, so make sure you dry the area between your toes well. 4. Moisturize dry skin If the skin on your feet feels rough or dry, use lotion or oil. Do not use lotion between your toes. Following good foot care habits will go a long way toward keeping your feet healthy. Here are a few helpful tips. Antiseptic solutions can burn your skin. Never use them on your feet without your doctor’s approval. Never use a heating pad, hot water bott Continue reading >>

Diabetes Foot Care

Diabetes Foot Care

You're more likely to have foot problems with diabetes because it can damage your nerves and lessen blood flow to your feet. The American Diabetes Association estimates that it's the reason why 1 in 5 people with diabetes who seek hospital care do so. You have to take care of your feet when you have diabetes. Poor foot care may lead to amputation of a foot or leg. Your doctor will check yours each year for problems. If you take good care of your feet, you can prevent most serious problems related to diabetes. Use mild soaps and warm water. Pat your skin dry; do not rub. Thoroughly dry your feet. After washing, put lotion on them to prevent cracking. But not between your toes! Look carefully at the tops and bottoms of your feet. Have someone else do it if you can't see them. Check for dry, cracked skin. Look for blisters, cuts, scratches, or other sores. Check for redness, increased warmth, or tenderness when you touch an area. Watch for ingrown toenails, corns, and calluses. If you get a blister or sore from your shoes, don't "pop" it. Put a bandage over it, and wear a different pair of shoes. Cut toenails after bathing, when they are soft. Trim them straight across, then smooth with a nail file. Avoid cutting into the corners of toes. You may want a podiatrist (foot doctor) to do it for you. Don't cut cuticles. Walk and work out in comfortable shoes. Don't exercise when you have open sores on your feet. Continue reading >>

11 Tips To Protect Your Feet And Legs If You Have Diabetes

11 Tips To Protect Your Feet And Legs If You Have Diabetes

1 / 12 How Does Diabetes Affect Your Feet and Legs? If you're managing diabetes, you may encounter problems with your feet and legs, two common complications of the disease. Diabetes puts you at higher risk for calluses, corns, bunions, blisters, and ulcers — and high blood sugar means these minor injuries and alterations may become gateways to potentially disabling infections. But you can take several steps to help keep your feet in good shape, including wearing specialized footwear, having regular foot exams, and performing low-impact exercise. Why does this complication occur in the first place? First, know that high blood sugar levels damage nerves. Researchers aren’t exactly sure how this damage happens, but they think that blood sugar may have a negative effect on the nervous system’s cells and enzymes, according to the Joslin Diabetes Center. These damaged nerves may lead to diabetic neuropathy, a condition in which you lose feeling in your feet or your hands. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, neuropathy occurs in about 70 percent of people with diabetes, and its symptoms can result in harmful infections. After all, if you can't feel your feet, you won't be able to notice cuts, sores, or pain. And if you can’t feel these irritations and wounds, they may lead to infection, and untreated infections can lead to gangrene, which in turn can require amputation. Neuropathy is the cause of the dry skin experienced by many of those with diabetes: The disabled nerves in your feet can’t receive the brain’s message to sweat. Dry feet crack, which makes it possible for germs to enter the body. Nerve damage can also cause changes to the shape of your feet, which can make previously comfortable shoes hard to walk in. Continue reading >>

Patient Education: Foot Care In Diabetes Mellitus (beyond The Basics)

Patient Education: Foot Care In Diabetes Mellitus (beyond The Basics)

INTRODUCTION Foot problems are a common complication in people with diabetes. Fortunately, most of these complications can be prevented with careful foot care. If complications do occur, daily attention will ensure that they are detected before they become serious. It may take time and effort to build good foot care habits, but self-care is essential. In fact, when it comes to foot care, the patient is a vital member of the medical team. This topic review presents a general overview of diabetic foot complications and guidelines for good foot care. DIABETES AND FOOT COMPLICATIONS Diabetes can lead to many different types of foot complications, including athlete's foot (a fungal infection), calluses, bunions and other foot deformities, or ulcers that can range from a surface wound to a deep infection. Poor circulation — Longstanding high blood sugar can damage blood vessels, decreasing blood flow to the foot. This poor circulation can weaken the skin, contribute to the formation of ulcers, and impair wound healing. Some bacteria and fungi thrive on high levels of sugar in the bloodstream, and bacterial and fungal infections can break down the skin and complicate ulcers. More serious complications include deep skin and bone infections. Gangrene (death and decay of tissue) is a very serious complication that may include infection; widespread gangrene may require foot amputation. Approximately 5 percent of men and women with diabetes eventually require amputation of a toe or foot. This tragic consequence can be prevented in most patients by managing blood sugar levels and daily foot care. Nerve damage (neuropathy) — Elevated blood glucose levels over time can damage the nerves of the foot, decreasing a person's ability to notice pain and pressure. Without these sensation Continue reading >>

Why Good Foot Care Is Important For Diabetes

Why Good Foot Care Is Important For Diabetes

Diabetes and daily routines go hand in hand--eating balanced meals, monitoring blood sugar, getting some physical activity each day, and relaxing. But there's another task doctors urge you to add to your busy schedule: examining your feet. Reasons to Check Your Feet It's not the most glamorous chore, but medical professionals agree it's important. People with diabetes (PWDs) are at high risk for major foot complications, which are often unseen and under-discussed. Those complications can start as small blisters or cuts that are easy to overlook until it's too late. "Diabetic foot complications account for 20-25 percent of all diabetes-related hospital admissions," says Lawrence Lavery, DPM, MPH, foot researcher and professor of surgery at Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine in Round Rock, Texas. Uncontrolled diabetes causes nerve damage in the extremities (a condition called peripheral neuropathy that limits pain sensation in up to 45 percent of all PWDs). Nerve damage also leads to poor circulation (which means wounds take longer to heal) and makes you prone to infection (it's difficult for the body to fight off bacteria in wounds). The Effects of Neglecting Your Feet These risk factors leave you susceptible to myriad problems, including skin infections, open wounds called ulcers, and sometimes amputation. According to Cordell "Corky" Atkins, P.T., CWS, CDE, CPed, manager of the diabetic foot clinic at Intermountain Healthcare's LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City, about 15 percent of adult PWDs in the United States will develop a foot ulcer, and roughly 3 percent will require amputation of a toe, foot, or leg because of improper wound care. These numbers may not seem astounding, but when you consider that 18.2 million American adults have diabetes, 3 percen Continue reading >>

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