Did you know that diabetic complications often start in your feet?
Despite the fact that many people with diabetes have an increased risk of developing diabetes-related foot problems, many are unaware of the importance of regular, preventative foot care. According to the CDC, 12% of people with diabetes develop foot ulcers, a serious complication that can lead to amputation, in their lifetime. Having regular visits and following these tips are important ways to stay on top of your foot health!
Why are foot problems common for people with diabetes?
Chronically high blood glucose levels that result from diabetes can cause many complications, including neuropathy (nerve damage), vasculopathy (blood vessel damage), and arthropathy (joint damage). Having nerve damage in your feet means it becomes difficult to detect pain and injuries, and damaged blood vessels result in slow healing. These conditions can quickly lead to wounds that don’t heal and become ulcers or infections.
Foot care tips for diabetics
- Daily foot checks to check for any injuries or other changes in temperature, texture, or color
- Practicing good hygiene: wash with soap and water, and dry thoroughly
- Keep toenails trimmed (straight across the top) to prevent nail problems like ingrown toenails
- Avoid walking barefoot. Protect at all times with socks and/or footwear
- Wear custom orthotics in your shoes to enhance support, cushioning, and address any deformities
- Wear footwear designed for diabetes. These shoes have wide toe boxes, more cushioning, and deeper heel cups to accommodate orthotics.
Other health care tips:
- Manage blood glucose levels.
- Quit smoking
- Lower cholesterol
- Lower blood pressure
- Limit alcohol consumption
Partner with a podiatrist
Any small change in your feet should be addressed by a podiatrist that specializes in diabetic foot care. With warm Texas weather ahead, it’s an important time to make sure your feet are healthy and protected from common foot problems to prevent serious consequences. Need a podiatry team you can trust for your diabetes or other foot care needs? Schedule an appointment with our podiatrists at San Antonio Podiatry Associates for high-quality foot and ankle care. Call 210-899-1026 or set up an appointment at any of our convenient locations in the San Antonio area today!