Diabetic Foot Care
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
Foot problems commonly develop in people with diabetes and can quickly
People with diabetes often have altered sensation in their feet and therefore
if they have
as well it will lead to decreased ability to feel
pain, heat or cold. This can result in injury and a delay in getting care for
an injury. An injury can lead to a foot ulcer that can become infected. It
often takes a long time for an ulcer to heal. Among diabetics changes often
take place in the walls of blood vessels. This change leads to the thickening
of the walls that makes the blood vessels stiff. This may lead to decreased
circulation in the lower legs and feet. This is important because it reduces
the body's ability to heal an injury or fight an infection. Complications of
foot injuries can lead to amputation.
It is important to control your blood sugar and blood pressure to maintain
your health and prevent complications. Also, the key to maintaining
feet is to prevent injury by following a plan to check and care for your feet.
The following are some measures to assist you in preventing foot problems.
Daily Foot Care Guide:
your feet daily. Check for cuts,
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. (If your
eyesight is poor, have someone else do it for you.)
Wash your feet every day using mild soap and warm water. Check the water
temperature with your hand or elbow before placing your feet in the water.
Dry your feet well. Make sure to dry in between the toes.
Apply lotion to
dry or cracked
skin and to the soles of your feet. Do not
put lotion between toes.
If there are any signs of infection such as swelling, redness, drainage,
fever, or chills consult your doctor immediately.
Keep toenails neatly trimmed. Cut the nails according to the shape of your
toes so they are even with the
skin on the end of your toes. Avoid cutting
down into the corners. Never cut skin at the end of your toes. Make sure you
trim your toenails in proper light. Trim toenails only after soaking feet, for
example, after a bath or shower. If your toenails are thickened, you may have
to have them trimmed by a doctor. If you have trouble with your eyesight then have someone help you trim
wrong type of socks. Avoid tight elastic bands (they reduce
circulation). Don’t wear thick or bulky socks (they can fit poorly and
irritate the skin). Wear clean, dry socks,
and change them daily.
Do not try to cut off
corns or calluses. If you have corns or calluses,
inform your doctor during your next visit. Wearing soft socks and well-fitted
shoes can prevent corns or calluses.
your shoes and inspect the inside before wearing. Remember, you may
not feel a pebble—so always shake out your shoes before putting them on.
Never walk barefoot. Not even at home! You could step on
something and get a scratch or cut.
Get periodic foot exams. See your foot and ankle surgeon
on a regular basis for an examination to help prevent the foot complications
improve bone and
joint health in your feet and legs, improve circulation to your legs, and will
also help to stabilize your blood sugar levels. Consult your physician prior
to beginning any exercise
Diabetes control: Following a reasonable
diet, taking your
medications, checking your blood sugar regularly, exercising regularly, and
maintaining good communication with your physician are essential in keeping
your diabetes under control. Consistent long-term blood sugar control to near
normal levels can greatly lower the risk of damage to your nerves, kidneys,
eyes, and blood vessels.
Suggestions To Prevent Injury
Avoid extreme temperatures. Do not let feet remain wet. Protect your feet
from sunlight by using a
Do not apply heating pad or hot water bottle to feet. Do not cross legs.
Avoid smoking as it constricts blood vessels hence reducing blood circulation
to your legs and feet.
Every time you visit your doctor ask him to check your feet.
If you have a problem with your feed consult your doctor immediately.
If the level of your blood sugar has increased then consult your doctor
immediately and this could be a sign of infection.