4 Important Diabetes Foot Care Tips
When you live with diabetes, looking after your feet extends beyond proper hygiene and the occasional pedicure. You must take precautions, like keeping your glucose levels balanced, and ensuring you keep your footsies clean and free of infection at all times to prevent severe foot problems from developing. This is because uncontrolled diabetes can damage your nerves (neuropathy) and affect your blood flow (peripheral vascular disease). Both of these problems can cause issues with your feet; starting with a lack of feeling which can cause even the smallest of wounds or sores to develop into severe infections. Those can progress into ulcers, and even to gangrene - tissue death. As such, managing your diabetes AND taking care of your feet and the common foot problems that may arise, are of the essence.
Common diabetic foot problemsIn truth, these foot problems are common to people with and without diabetes alike. But, people without diabetes don’t usually need to worry about complications from these problems leading to infection, and in extreme cases, amputation.
- Athlete's foot
- Fungal nail infections
- Dry skin
- Foot ulcers
- Ingrown toenails
- Plantar warts
Symptoms of diabetic foot problemsWhile people without diabetes may experience discomfort from these foot problems, diabetics may suffer from a wider variety of associated symptoms, including:
- Skin discoloration
- Skin temperature changes
- Loss of feeling
- Numbness or tingling (with or without pain)
- Foot deformity
- Red streaks
- Wounds with or without pus
- Staining on socks
- Infections that include fever, chills, and shaking
- Uncontrollable blood sugar levels
These symptoms are associated with common diabetic foot complications: diabetic neuropathy and peripheral vascular disease. If not monitored and treated with haste, they can lead to further skin and bone infections, wounds that do not heal, abscesses, gangrene, and foot deformities (including Charcot’s Foot).
Diabetic foot care tips
First, get your diabetes under control
Consult with your doctor and nutritionist on which medication, diet, exercise regimen and nutritional supplements you can take to balance your blood sugar levels and help prevent these conditions from developing, or progressing. Quit smoking. Lose weight. And consider taking a dietary supplement like CuraLin by CuraLife to promote healthy & balanced blood sugar levels daily.
Second, ensure proper, regular foot hygiene
Wash your feet in warm water every day, using a mild soap, and testing the water’s temperature with your elbow (in case nerve damage prevents you from feeling it with your feet). Trim your nails and smooth your corns and bunions (never cut or shave them!), then apply moisturizer.
Third, check your feet daily
Inspect your feet daily for sores, blisters, redness, calluses, or any other common foot problems - and have your doctor check your feet regularly as well. During check-ups, elevate your feet and wiggle your toes to promote blood flow to your feet.