What Every Diabetic Should Know About Foot Care

diabetic foot, Great Lakes Foot and Ankle Institute PC

Managing diabetes takes a lot of work. You need to monitor your blood glucose levels, take your medicine on a regular basis, see the doctor routinely, keep an eye on everything you eat and make sure you get enough exercise — and that’s just for starters. Because diabetes affects your blood sugar levels, it has the potential to cause widespread damage, including damage to your feet. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control says about 60 percent to 70 percent of people with diabetes will also suffer from diabetic neuropathy, or nerve damage caused by fluctuating blood sugar levels.

Neuropathy and your feet

Neuropathy can occur anywhere, but with diabetes, it most commonly affects your feet, causing symptoms like sharp pain, pins-and-needles sensations, and numbness that can make it difficult to tell when your feet are injured. When sensations in your feet are diminished, even small injuries like ingrown toenails, blisters or tiny cuts can quickly become major medical problems. That’s because when you can’t feel the painful sensations associated with foot injuries, you can wind up putting off care, allowing those injuries to grow or become infected. What’s more, since diabetes also interferes with normal circulation, sores on your feet typically don’t heal as quickly or as completely. 

Having a sore that doesn’t heal sounds painful, but maybe not that serious. In fact, when sores don’t heal, infections can quickly spread, especially when the natural healing response is suppressed by poor circulation. According to a report published in the American Journal of Managed Care, the number of toe and limb amputations due to diabetes is on the rise in the U.S., and researchers estimate that every day, 230 diabetics will have an amputation due to poor wound healing.

Caring for your feet

If you have diabetes, it’s important to add regular foot care to your list of daily activities. Here's what to do:

Keep your feet healthy

At Great Lakes Foot and Ankle Institute PC, we offer comprehensive care for diabetic foot problems. Every treatment is customized depending on the patient’s unique needs to help ensure optimal health. If you have diabetes, it’s important to make foot care a priority. To learn what you can do to keep your feet healthy, book an appointment online today.

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