6 Ways to Improve Foot Health for Diabetic Patients
If you have diabetes you are one of approximately 29 million people in the United States affected by this disease. Without properly controlling your diabetes elevated blood sugar levels can result in serious health issues including damage to your kidneys, nerves, eyes, heart and feet. At New York Foot Health we want to help patients with diabetes avoid complications and live a full and active lifestyle. Below are 6 tips to help prevent lower extremity problems and manage diabetes successfully:
1. Partner with your Podiatrist—following a regular schedule of checkups with your podiatrist will go a long way to ensuring that your feet stay healthy. Don’t have a podiatrist? Check the directory available through New York State Podiatric Medical Association and locate one near you. Your podiatrist will work with your other physicians as well, taking a team approach to help manage your diabetes.
2. Check it Out—get in the habit of inspecting your feet daily. Look over your ankles, toes and your entire foot (get someone to help you if you cannot see your whole foot). Search for bruises, sores, blisters, cuts, lumps or swelling, rashes or other changes in skin or toenails (such as thickening or discoloration). Report any changes to the podiatrist promptly. Seemingly minor foot problems can quickly develop into wounds or ulcers or develop into an infection.
3. Get the Right Fit—it’s essential that you wear shoes that fit your feet properly and don’t rub or cause any irritation. Have your foot professionally measured whenever you buy new shoes and look for styles with roomy toe boxes and low or no heels. Be aware that the size and shape of your foot can change over time.
4. Work it Out—regular exercise has multiple benefits for diabetic patients. It keeps the blood flowing and improves circulation and it also can help you maintain a healthy weight.
5. Keep Your Shoes On—even in your own home avoid going barefoot. Your risk for foot injuries and cuts greatly increases if your feet are not covered. You’ll also be avoiding fungal infections which are spread by direct contact to the skin and nails on your feet.
6. No Bathroom Surgery—whether it’s a wart, callus or ingrown toenail if you have diabetes the removal and care of these foot ailments are most safely left to the podiatrist.