Diabetes and foot care

    • Brief

    • As a person living with diabetes, you may already adhere to your treatment and lifestyle changes to prevent disease complications. Foot care is critical and can help you prevent amputation and disability.

      You should inspect your feet every day, clean your feet often and wear comfortable shoes that cover your feet. Protect your feet and hands from cuts and injuries.

    • How diabetes can affect your feet

    • Diabetes, when not properly managed, can lead to a lot of problems in different parts of your body, including your feet. 

      When your blood sugar level is too high, it can damage your nerves. When this happens, you may no longer feel sensations in your feet. As such, when you have a cut or wound, you may be unaware you will not treat it in time. This wound may also not heal fast as high blood sugar can reduce the flow of blood to the affected foot.

      The result is that the wound gets bigger and possibly infected, which can be challenging to treat. If it becomes too difficult to treat, your healthcare provider may recommend that you have surgery to remove (part of) the foot to ensure that the infection does not spread to other parts of your body.

    • How to care for your feet

    • You can keep your feet healthy and still attend owanbes on your two feet. Here is how:

      • Check your feet every day. Inspect your feet and in between your toes carefully and thoroughly every day for cuts, minor bruises, athlete's foot, dry or dark patches and blisters. You can ask a loved one to help you check to be sure you did not miss anything. This will help you notice any problem in time and to treat it before it gets worse.
      • Wash and dry your feet every day. Wash your feet with warm water and mild soap. Do not use hot water because it can dry your skin and make it crack. Also, do not soak your feet in warm soapy water bacsue this also dries out the skin. After washing, gently pat your feet dry with a clean towel, taking special care to dry the skin between your toes. You can apply some talcum powder between your toes to keep them dry and prevent infections.
      • Wear shoes and socks. Shoes and socks are essential in protecting your feet. However, make sure your socks and shoes are not too tight or high heeled to prevent reduced blood flow and too much pressure on your toes. Preferably, you should wear level shoes with laces or velcro. 
      • Move your feet. To keep blood flow to your feet, move them often. Do not sit with your feet crossed or in a particular position for a long time. 
      • Avoid cuts and injuries. For example, use nail cutters to trim your nails instead of a blade and avoid cutting into the corners of your toes. You should also keep your feet away from hot substances like hot water or open fires to avoid getting burned.
      • Seek help promptly. If you notice any numbness or feeling of pins in your feet, visit your healthcare provider immediately. Also, do not think that a cut is too small for your healthcare provider’s attention. 
    • Kulawa cares

    • Controlling your diabetes with appropriate treatment, healthy diet, and regular exercise will help to reduce the chances of suffering from foot complications.