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Why Do You Have To Have Your Feet Checked When You Have Diabetes?

Diabetes And Your Feet

Diabetes And Your Feet

If you have diabetes, here’s a way to keep standing on your own two feet: check them every day—even if they feel fine—and see your doctor if you have a cut or blister that won’t heal. There’s a lot to manage if you have diabetes: checking your blood sugar, making healthy food, finding time to be active, taking medicines, going to doctor’s appointments. With all that, your feet might be the last thing on your mind. But daily care is one of the best ways to prevent foot complications. Between 60% and 70% of people with diabetes have diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage). You can have nerve damage in any part of your body, but nerves in your feet and legs are most often affected. Nerve damage can cause you to lose feeling in your feet. Feeling No Pain Some people with nerve damage have numbness, tingling, or pain, but others have no symptoms. Nerve damage can also lower your ability to feel pain, heat, or cold. Living without pain sounds pretty good, but it comes at a high cost. Pain is the body’s way of telling you something’s wrong so you can take care of yourself. If you don’t feel pain in your feet, you may not notice a cut, blister, sore, or other problem. Small problems can become serious if they aren’t treated early. Risk Factors Anyone with diabetes can develop nerve damage, but these factors increase your risk: Nerve damage, along with poor circulation—another diabetes complication—puts you at risk for developing a foot ulcer (a sore or wound) that could get infected and not heal well. If an infection doesn’t get better with treatment, your toe, foot, or part of your leg may need to be amputated (removed by surgery) to prevent the infection from spreading and to save your life. When you check your feet every day, you can catch problems early Continue reading >>

Amputation And Diabetes: How To Protect Your Feet

Amputation And Diabetes: How To Protect Your Feet

Good diabetes management and regular foot care help prevent severe foot sores that are difficult to treat and may require amputation. Diabetes complications can include nerve damage and poor blood circulation. These problems make the feet vulnerable to skin sores (ulcers) that can worsen quickly. The good news is that proper diabetes management and careful foot care can help prevent foot ulcers. In fact, better diabetes care is probably why the rates of lower limb amputations have gone down by more than 50 percent in the past 20 years. When foot ulcers do develop, it's important to get prompt care. More than 80 percent of amputations begin with foot ulcers. A nonhealing ulcer that causes severe damage to tissues and bone may require surgical removal (amputation) of a toe, foot or part of a leg. Some people with diabetes are more at risk than others. Factors that lead to an increased risk of an amputation include: High blood sugar levels Smoking Nerve damage in the feet (peripheral neuropathy) Calluses or corns Foot deformities Poor blood circulation to the extremities (peripheral artery disease) A history of foot ulcers A past amputation Vision impairment Kidney disease High blood pressure, above 140/80 millimeters of mercury (mmHg) Here's what you need to know to keep your feet healthy, the signs you need to see a doctor and what happens if amputation is necessary. Preventing foot ulcers The best strategy for preventing complications of diabetes — including foot ulcers — is proper diabetes management with a healthy diet, regular exercise, blood sugar monitoring and adherence to a prescribed medication regimen. Proper foot care will help prevent problems with your feet and ensure prompt medical care when problems occur. Tips for proper foot care include the followin Continue reading >>

Improving Foot Care

Improving Foot Care

With diabetes, nonhealing foot ulcers are the leading cause of infection and amputation. Prevention is key. Check your feet daily to decrease your risk of foot problems. Foot care is even more important for those who have: Loss of feeling in the feet Changes in the shape of the feet Sores or ulcers that do not heal. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease suggests following these steps to prevent foot problems: 1. Control your diabetes. Make healthy lifestyle choices to help keep your blood sugar levels controlled. Work with your healthcare team to make a plan that fits your lifestyle best. 2. Check your feet every day. You may not be aware that you have... Foot Care People with diabetes are at higher risk for foot problems. People who have had diabetes for many years and those whose blood sugar is not controlled, are at highest risk. Diabetes can affect the blood vessels. Weakened blood vessels result in poor blood flow to the lower parts of the legs and feet. This causes slow healing of injuries. Diabetes can also affect the nerves in the feet. This reduces the ability to feel cuts, sores or blisters on the feet. For people with nerve damage, it is possible for a foot to become injured. A foot injury can become badly infected without any pain or discomfort. Daily foot care and attention to foot injuries can prevent serious problems and most amputations... Non-Healing Foot Ulcers Nerve damage to the feet (neuropathy) is a major risk factor for foot ulcers. Non-healing foot ulcers can lead to infection and amputation. A minor foot sore can become very serious for a person with diabetes. Damaged sensory nerves cause loss of feeling in the feet. When there is loss of feeling or pain, foot injuries can occur. What causes foot ulcers? When the mo Continue reading >>

Diabetes Can Affect Your Feet

Diabetes Can Affect Your Feet

When you have diabetes you need to take very good care of your feet every day. If you do this then you can prevent serious complications. Your feet are at risk because diabetes can cause damage to the nerves and the blood supply. The 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 you are inactive There are two types of risk to feet, high risk and low risk. Knowing the risk and taking care of your feet can prevent serious problems even amputation. A doctor, podiatrist or Credentialled Diabetes Educator can carry out an easy and painless check on your feet to determine whether your feet havea low or high risk of developing more serious problems. Low risk feet have normal sensation and good blood flow. However, it is important to know that low risk feet can become high risk feet without symptoms, so regular checks are still as important. People who have had a foot ulcer or amputation in the past have high risk feet. Feet with calluses or deformaties like claw toes also have increased risk if poor feeling and/or decreased blood flow are also present. If you have high risk feet you should have them checked by your docotr or a podiatrist every 3-6 months. In some cases you may be referred to a specialist or high risk foot clinic. The booklet Healthy Feet are Happy Feet is available from Diabetes Australia and is written especially for people with high risk feet. Nerve damage 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 increase 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 >>

How To Check Your Feet For Signs Of Diabetic Neuropathy And Sores

How To Check Your Feet For Signs Of Diabetic Neuropathy And Sores

Amy Tenderich was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in May of 2003. She is the founder and editor-in-chief of Diabetes Mine and co-authored the book Know Your Numbers, Outlive Your Diabetes. You will frequently find her speaking at diabetes, health, and social media events across the country. Diabetes can cause problems, literally head-to-toe. And the damage that can occur to your feet is no joke. While most of us have a vague idea that diabetic feet need special care, we usually don’t look into the details until it’s absolutely necessary—in other words, when things are already going wrong. That’s why I’d encourage you—whether you’ve experienced trouble with your feet to date or not—to take a moment to learn about foot health with diabetes. There’s no replacement for good old-fashioned caution. This means you should choose footwear that fits well, avoid walking around barefoot, and inspect your feet yourself every day. What are you looking for? Look for any changes in the skin, blisters, cuts, or any signs of irritation. If you find such changes, watch them closely, and let your regular doctor or podiatrist (foot specialist) know immediately if they worsen or if they don’t improve within several days. This special attention to your feet will have a major impact on reducing your chance of future foot problems. Here is your diabetes foot care to-do list: Wash your feet daily in lukewarm water, including between the toes. Dry them gently and moisturize well. Diabetes may cause you to sweat less, which can lead to cracked, dry skin. So when you trim your toenails, take care not to injure the surrounding skin. If you have poor blood circulation in your legs or aren't able to see well enough to trim your nails, have your podiatrist (foot doctor) do it for you Continue reading >>

47 Podiatrists Share Tips On Good Foot Care For Those With Diabetes

47 Podiatrists Share Tips On Good Foot Care For Those With Diabetes

Here is exactly what we asked our panel of experts: What tips would you give to someone who is newly diagnosed? Why do you think a lot of people ignore their foot care when it comes to diabetes? Featured Answer Dr. Ira H. Kraus, President, American Podiatric Medical Association A1: The most important tip I would give to anyone newly diagnosed with diabetes is to include a podiatrist in your care team. That may seem like a self-serving tip! But independent studies show that when a podiatrist is involved in caring for a person with diabetes, that person’s risk of hospitalization and diabetes-related amputations goes down dramatically. Seeing a podiatrist once a year can help you prevent diabetic ulcers, and if you do develop an ulcer, seeing a podiatrist can help reduce the risk of amputation by up to 80 percent. I would also suggest that people newly diagnosed with diabetes simply pay close attention to their feet. Prevention can be the key. Watch your feet daily for any changes, and if you see something that concerns you, get in to see your podiatrist as soon as possible! A2: A diabetes diagnosis can be overwhelming. It comes with a lot of lifestyle changes and a lot of concerns. Our feet are literally the furthest things from our minds, so it’s not surprising that many people overlook them as they’re growing accustomed to living with diabetes. Also, many people don’t understand the serious complications diabetes can cause in the feet, and by the time they realize there’s a problem, it is a significant problem. People do not realize that simple things that they have been living with for years like: dry skin, athletes foot, skin fissures or calluses can lead to serious complications. The good news is that those small steps of examining your feet once a day and Continue reading >>

How Can Diabetes Affect My Feet?

How Can Diabetes Affect My Feet?

Chronically high blood sugar (glucose) levels can be associated with serious complications in people who have diabetes. The feet are especially at risk. Two conditions called diabetic neuropathy and peripheral vascular disease can damage the feet (and other areas of the body) in people who have diabetes. What is diabetic neuropathy? Chronically high sugar levels associated with uncontrolled diabetes can cause nerve damage that interferes with the ability to sense pain and temperature. This so-called "sensory diabetic neuropathy" increases the risk a person with diabetes will not notice problems with his or her feet. Nearly 10% of people with diabetes develop foot ulcers due to peripheral vascular disease and nerve damage. People with diabetes may not notice sores or cuts on the feet, which in turn can lead to an infection. Nerve damage can also affect the function of foot muscles, leading to improper alignment and injury. What is peripheral vascular disease? Diabetes is associated with poor circulation (blood flow). Inadequate blood flow increases the healing time for cuts and sores. Peripheral vascular disease refers to compromised blood flow in the arms and legs. Poor blood flow increases the risk that infections will not heal. This, in turn, increases the risk of ulcers and gangrene, which is tissue death that occurs in a localized area when there is an inadequate blood supply. What are common foot problems of people with diabetes? The following images show common foot problems that anyone can get; however, those with diabetes are at increased risk for serious complications associated with these conditions, including infection and even amputation. Athlete's foot Fungal infection of the feet is called athlete's foot. Cracked skin, itching, and redness are associated w Continue reading >>

Diabetes, Foot Care And Foot Ulcers

Diabetes, Foot Care And Foot Ulcers

Some people with diabetes develop foot ulcers. A foot ulcer is prone to infection, which may become severe. This leaflet aims to explain why foot ulcers sometimes develop, what you can do to help prevent them, and typical treatments if one does occur. Why are people with diabetes prone to foot ulcers? Foot ulcers are more common if you have diabetes because one or both of the following complications develop in some people with diabetes: Reduced sensation of the skin on your feet. Narrowing of blood vessels going to the feet. Your nerves may not work as well as normal because even a slightly high blood sugar (glucose) level can, over time, damage some of your nerves (neuropathy). Read more about diabetic neuropathy. If you have diabetes you have an increased risk of developing narrowing of the blood vessels (arteries), known as peripheral arterial disease. The arteries in the legs are quite commonly affected. This can cause a reduced blood supply (poor circulation) to the feet. Skin with a poor blood supply does not heal as well as normal and is more likely to be damaged. What increases the risk of developing foot ulcers? If you have reduced sensation to your feet (see above). The risk of this occurring increases the longer you have diabetes and the older you are. If your diabetes is poorly controlled. This is one of the reasons why it is very important to keep your blood sugar (glucose) level as near normal as possible. If you have narrowed blood vessels (arteries) - see above. The risk of this occurring increases the longer you have diabetes, the older you become and also if you are male. The risk also increases if you have any other risk factors for developing furring of the arteries. For example, if you smoke, do little physical activity, have a high cholesterol leve Continue reading >>

Helpful Tips For Good Diabetes Foot Care

Helpful Tips For Good Diabetes Foot Care

Foot care is crucial for avoiding complications such as infections, ulcers, deformity, and even the extreme possibility of amputation. When you have diabetes, it is important that you check your feet regularly for signs of injury. You may not even be aware that you have a cut or blister until you check them. Here are some reasons why people with diabetes are more vulnerable to foot problems: Nerve damage (or neuropathy): people with diabetes may gradually lose the ability to feel pain, cold, or heat. As a result, it is easy to get a blister or a wound without knowing it, and this can lead to infection Poor blood flow in feet and legs: poor circulation along with nerve damage can cause many complicated foot problems, including infections that heal very slowly Skin changes: skin dryness, cracking, and peeling can occur in the feet. Calluses can build up faster, and ulcers can develop on the heel or the ball of the foot or on the bottom of the big toes Deformities: nerve damage can cause joint damage that lead to foot deformities. People with diabetes and pre-existing foot problems (such as hammer toes, overlapping toes, or bunions) are more prone to infections Taking Care of Your Feet There are a few things you can do to care for your feet—here are some helpful tips: Keep your diabetes under control. Be sure to maintain your blood sugar in the range that your doctor recommends. Work with your healthcare team to manage diabetes and prevent complications Check your feet daily. Look for calluses and corns, blisters, dry skin, cracks, redness or swelling and infected toenails. Heel calluses can crack and become infected. Don’t forget to check the space between your toes. If you have trouble checking your feet, use a mirror or ask someone to inspect them for you Make sure Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Cold Feet

Diabetes And Cold Feet

We’ve all heard of a bride or groom “getting cold feet” before walking down the aisle, but for people with diabetes, having cold feet takes on another meaning entirely. What causes cold feet? Diabetic peripheral neuropathy, a form of nerve damage, is one of the most common causes of cold feet. About sixty to seventy percent of people with diabetes develop some form of neuropathy over time. Diabetic peripheral neuropathy is actually the cause of all kinds of symptoms, including tingling, burning, or sensitivity to touch. Your feet might seem warm to the touch, but feel cold to you. Symptoms may worsen at night. Poor circulation is another common cause of cold feet. Poor circulation makes it more challenging for your heart to pump warm blood to your extremities, keeping your feet cooler than the rest of your body. Peripheral artery disease, caused by clogged arteries in your legs, can reduce circulation and lead to cold feet. This could be a sign of something more serious, like increased risk for heart attack or stroke, but your doctor can usually detect it by checking the pulse in your legs. Certain medications, particularly those that cause blood vessels to constrict, can cause cold feet. Popular medications associated with cold feet are those to treat blood pressure, migraine headaches, and head colds. Talk to your pharmacist if you start to experience cold feet after starting a particular medication. Hypothyroidism is a condition caused by an underactive thyroid. Low levels of thyroid hormone interfere with your body’s metabolism, contributing to reduced circulation and colder feet. Other causes of cold feet Restless legs syndrome (RLS), a neurological disorder that causes funny sensations in your legs when at rest, such as creeping, crawling, aching—and, so 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 >>

Caring For Your Feet, Skin And Teeth When You Have Diabetes

Caring For Your Feet, Skin And Teeth When You Have Diabetes

Good personal care can prevent problems caused by diabetes. Daily attention and regular exams are very important. Caring for your feet You need to take extra care of your feet and legs. High blood glucose can cause damage to the nerves and blood vessels in your feet and lower legs. When nerves are damaged, you don't feel problems like sores or cuts on your feet. Amputations caused by diabetes could be reduced by as much as 75 percent with good self-care and regular foot exams by your health care provider. Remember to take your shoes and socks off at each diabetes visit with your health care provider or nurse. This will remind you that you need to have your feet looked at regularly. Diabetes foot care guidelines Look at your feet every day to check for sores, cuts, cracks or blisters. Use a hand mirror, or ask a family member, to check the bottoms of your feet. Wash your feet with slightly warm water every day. Do not soak your feet because this will dry them out and might cause problems like cracking. Always check inside shoes for worn areas or objects that could cause a sore on your foot. New shoes should be broken in slowly. Ask your health care provider if you need special shoes. Use lotion or cream for dry skin, but do not use it between your toes. Cut toenails straight across and smooth out sharp edges. Ask your health care provider or nurse to examine your feet at every checkup. Wear proper shoes and socks even when indoors. Protect your feet from hot or cold conditions. Don't use heating pads or hot water bottles on your feet. Do not smoke. Smoking decreases the blood flow to your feet. Poor blood flow means slower healing and greater chance of infection. Caring for your skin and teeth People with diabetes need to be extra careful in taking care of their skin and Continue reading >>

Diabetes & Your Foot Health

Diabetes & Your Foot Health

Taking care of your feet is an essential part of everyday life. If you live with diabetes it needs to become an even more prominent part of your routine. Inspect your feet daily and seek assistance should you get a foot injury. Prevention is the key to helping prevent any serious foot problem and can normally be done with a few small steps. Annually your health care provider should perform a complete foot exam. If you have any problems, it should be more often. While doing your yearly remember to remove socks and shoes. This will be a reminder for a foot check. Healthcare providers can trim your corns, calluses, and toe nails if you cannot do so safely. Be active. Discuss your physical activity with your health team. Ask your doctor about special shoes. Wash your feet every day, dry carefully between toes. Set a time everyday to check your feet for any red spots, cuts, swelling, and blisters. Keep your skin soft. Use lotion in moderation, over the tops and bottoms of your feet, but not between toes. Wear shoes and socks at all times. Wear comfortable shoes that fit and protect your feet. Protect your feet from hot and cold. Wear shoes on hot pavement and cold floors. Keep blood flowing to your feet. Put your feet up when sitting down. Wiggle your toes and move your ankles up and down for 4-5 minutes, 2-3 times a day. No smoking. Begin taking care of your feet today! If you are experiencing any form of foot issues, you should see your podiatrist as soon as possible. Our professional podiatrists specialize in the treatment of Diabetic Foot Health. We will assess your situation and discuss your treatment options with you to promptly set you on the path to recovery. Let Us help you with your Diabetic Foot Care To learn more about Diabetes & your foot health, please contact Continue reading >>

Have Diabetes? Take Care Of Your Feet!

Have Diabetes? Take Care Of Your Feet!

How can diabetes hurt my feet? People with diabetes are at risk for foot infections. Too much sugar in the blood for a long time can cause nerve damage which reduces feeling, especially in your feet. You may not feel pain, or hot or cold. You might hurt your foot and not even know it. If you have less feeling in your feet, you may walk a little bit different which can cause calluses that sometimes get infected. Also, diabetes can cause less blood to flow to your legs and feet; this might make it hard for a sore on your foot to get better. What happens if I get a sore on my foot? If the sore gets infected and you do not get antibiotics, it could continue to get worse, possibly never healing. Sometimes the sore gets gangrene. If this happens, the sore may get black and smell bad. To keep gangrene from getting worse, the doctor may need to cut off the toes or foot. How should I take care of my feet? Decrease the possibility of getting sores on your feet by doing the following: Check your feet every day. Look for sores, cuts, blisters, or redness, especially in between the toes. If you cannot see your feet, use a mirror to check them or have a family member or friend check them for you. Keep your feet clean and dry. Wash them with WARM (not hot) water every day. Remember, you may not know the water is too hot if you put just your feet in it. To check the water temperature, dip your elbow in the water. Make sure your toenails are cut. Cut them after a bath when they are soft. Cut them in the shape of your toes and not too short. Gently file corns and calluses after your bath or shower. Use a pumice stone or an emery board. If you don’t have good feeling in your feet, go to a foot doctor to get your toenails cut. Also, the foot doctor will file corns or calluses. Don’t le Continue reading >>

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