Keeping Feet Healthy
Your feet can display symptoms of larger, general health problems. There are many different systemic conditions that impact the whole body, including the lower limbs—and often symptoms in the feet provide excellent insight into your general health. That is certainly the case for diabetes. This disease runs wild through your body and dramatically impacts your feet and ankles. When diabetic feet are healthy, the rest of you is typically okay as well. That’s why diabetic foot care is such a critical part of living with the disease.
More than Diet Changes: Effects of Diabetes
Diabetes is a serious disease that impacts the whole body, with consequences that extend beyond changing your diet or taking insulin. Fluctuating and high blood sugar levels weaken tissues, impair blood vessels, and ruin nerves. The end result is that you’re more prone to injuries, struggle to recover from them, and unlikely to feel small problems developing in your feet.
This can lead to damage that permanently weakens or deforms your lower limbs. You’re also more vulnerable to infections that could easily become life-threatening. If those progress far enough, you may need an amputation to save your life. Diabetic foot care works to prevent and head off these problems before they lead to permanent damage or limb amputation.
Make a List and Check It Twice
Regular diabetic foot checks are a vital part of maintaining healthy feet. This includes yearly checks by Pequest Foot and Ankle Specialists, as well as your own daily foot checks for changes or problems. This is important for anyone with this disease, but it’s especially crucial if you have peripheral neuropathy. Impaired nerves from diabetic neuropathy mean you may not feel injuries that need prompt care. This is one of the main ways that diabetic foot ulcers form.
Checking your feet isn’t difficult. You simply need to know what to look for and how. Every day take a few minutes to run your hands completely over both feet. Feel for lumps, bumps, sore spots, and temperature changes. Then look all over your lower limbs, including on the soles and in between the toes. Check for breaks in the skin, cuts, scrapes, blisters, bruises, or any discoloration or distortion in your skin or nails. If you find something, don’t wait for it to get worse. Contact us immediately to take care of the problem.
Other Foot Care Essentials
Diabetic foot care also includes your hygiene, shoes, and activities. Wash your feet and dry them completely every day. This eliminates grime and can help prevent infections. This is also a good time to inspect your lower limbs. Keep your nails trimmed straight across and moisturize your skin frequently. Wear fitted, perspiration-wicking socks and supportive shoes at all times. These protect your feet from friction, stepping on small objects, and some biomechanical issues. The fit for footwear is very important for truly benefiting your feet, so always wear comfortable, supportive styles.
Take time to exercise, too. This encourages healthy bones, muscles, and circulation, which you need. Our team of experts can help you establish an exercise plan that’s safe for your feet, even if you have multiple complications from diabetes.
Top-notch diabetic foot care takes time and effort, but it’s essential for maintaining a normal, healthy, active lifestyle with diabetes. This disease may impact every part of your body, but it doesn’t have to impair your feet or keep you from living the life you love. Let Dr. Gerald Mauriello in Belvidere and Hackettstown, NJ, help you. Use our online request form to make an appointment, or call us directly at (908) 475-8750.