Diabetes affects millions of people, and frequently requires special attention to avoid complications that can greatly devastate one’s life. This attention is especially necessary when it comes to foot care.
While diabetes can have consequences on vision, kidney function, and many other parts of the body, it is also very important to maintain preventative care of the feet. The effects of the disease in this specific area can be particularly sneaky and very harmful.
How Diabetes Affects the Feet
The primary dangers of diabetes’ effects on the feet are two-fold:
- Diabetes can interfere with circulation, and the first area to start feeling the consequences tends to be the feet. Reduced circulation can cause damage to nerves that need sustenance from blood flow. It can also greatly reduce the ability of wounds and injuries to recover.
- Nerve damage described above can interfere with sensation in the feet, masking or numbing the pain of an injury if one occurs. A problem can develop on the foot and it might go unnoticed for some time.
These two dangers are at their worst when they are working together. An injury that happens on the foot may not be felt, but it also might not heal. As someone continues walking on the injury, it becomes worse, forming an ulcer, and the chances of infection rise dramatically.
Cases like this, unfortunately, are how many people each year end up requiring amputation. Some lose their lives.
With proper attention and preventative care, however, this type of situation never has to happen.
Personal and Professional Diabetic Foot Care
If there is only one thing you do to improve your foot care with diabetes, it’s this: examine your feet every day.
The act of checking your feet for injuries, sores, discoloration, or anything else out of the ordinary can mark the difference between a problem that is easily addressed and a situation that grows dangerously out of control.
Choose a time of day for a self-examination that will be easy to make a habit. This can be when you get out of the shower or just before bed—any time that is convenient for you. If you have trouble seeing your feet, you may want to feel along them as well. A mirror or even a selfie stick can be helpful, as can the help of a loved one.
If you see anything out of the ordinary, give us a call. We may suggest you merely keep an eye on things for a few days to see if it improves, or we might ask you to come in so we can have a closer look. Either way, the problem is not going unnoticed.
We also recommend regular professional check-ups to discover potential issues before they ever have a chance to become reality. This may include gait abnormalities that place excess pressure and irritation on certain areas of the foot, for which custom orthotics or diabetic shoes can be a corrective measure.
We can also provide additional care advice, such as items you might need to be personally on the lookout for at the store. We can also provide recommendations for moisturizers or other measures to keep feet safe and healthy.
Diabetic Foot Care Matters
Even if you feel your feet are currently unaffected by diabetes, it has a way of creeping in over time and causing trouble before you know it. By taking easy steps now, you can save a great deal of potential turmoil later on.
We would be happy to answer any questions you may have about diabetic foot care, as well as help you create a good personal care routine. Give our Wheeling office a call at (847) 465-9311 or use our online contact form to reach us.
505 N. Wolf Rd
Wheeling, IL 60090
Mon: 10am - 7pm
Tue: 10am - 5pm
Thu: 10am - 5pm
Fri: 10am - 4pm
Sat: 10am - 3pm