Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Your Feet with Diabetes

Your Feet with Diabetes - Proceed with Caution

Diabetes affects over 23.6 million Americans with an estimated 1.6 million new cases being diagnosed every year. Diabetes is a systemic disease that increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, kidney disease, and risk of limb amputation. In fact, the majority of non-traumatic amputations result from the complications of diabetes. If you have diabetes, regular visits to your primary care physician, as well as your podiatrist, is the key to preventing irreversible damage to your feet. Here are several tips specific to the patient with diabetes to help you take proper care of your feet:

1. Manage your diabetes-work with your doctors to ensure your blood glucose levels remain at an appropriate level at all times.

2. Examine your feet every day-take time to inspect your feet for blisters, bruises, or any discoloration. Make sure to check all aspects of the foot and use a mirror if necessary.

3. Get active-consult your doctors about appropriate ways to exercise. Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial in managing diabetes.

4. Avoid going barefoot-wear socks and shoes to avoid injuries to your feet. Even small cuts and scrapes can go unnoticed in diabetic patients, especially those who have neuropathy.

5. Get fitted for good shoes-several shoe companies offer a variety of styles of diabetic shoes that have seamless linings in them to reduce any irritation to your skin. People (especially women) will often wear shoes that are too small which can lead to a variety of foot-related problems. Our feet change as we age. Make sure to get fitted every time you go to buy a new pair of shoes.

6. Trim your toenail straight across with slightly rounded edges - this will help avoid ingrown toenails and prevent the nail from cutting into your skin which may cause infection.

7. Wash your feet daily-use lukewarm water and soap to wash your feet. Dry your feet off, and apply baby powder to keep the feet dry throughout the day. This will help prevent blisters.

8. See a podiatrist regularly-a podiatrist is a foot and ankle doctor who is specially trained in the diagnosis and treatment of all kinds of pathology (diseases) related to the foot. Diabetic foot care is one of the many aspects a podiatrist handles on a regular basis. Regular visits to a podiatrist significantly decreases the risk of foot-related complications in diabetic patients.

If you have any questions or concerns about your feet, please do not hesitate to contact our InStride Family Foot Care at 704-786-4482 or visit our website at


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