If you live with diabetes—or a close friend or loved one does—I’m sure you’ve heard a lot about the importance of living a healthy diabetes lifestyle. For example, people with diabetes need to put a lot of extra thought into managing their diet, like understanding how to count carbohydrates and balance meals to keep blood glucose levels in check.
One commonly overlooked aspect of a healthy diabetes lifestyle, however, is foot care. We often don’t think about our feet until after there’s a problem, but taking the initiative and providing preventative care is an important aspect of healthy living for anyone—but especially those with diabetes.
That’s because diabetes poses significant risks to healthy feet, risks that could even result in an amputation to stop the spread of an infected wound. The disease slows circulation (which in turn reduces healing ability and immune function) and damages nerves (which impairs sensation), and those symptoms tend to be felt first and most significantly in the feet, far from the heart and central nervous system. If you don’t manage your diabetes and take care of your feet, these complications can develop to the point where even small nicks and scrapes can turn into serious medical emergencies.
So, make sure you include your feet in your healthy lifestyle plan for diabetes! Keep them clean and dry and check them thoroughly every single day for signs of injury or skin damage—corns, calluses, cracks, blisters, swelling, redness, etc. Protect them from obstacles, injuries, and the elements by wearing a good pair of comfortable shoes at all times, including when you’re at home. And of course, continue to exercise, eat healthy, and do all the other things you need to do to manage your blood sugar levels—what’s good for the rest of your body in this matter will be good for your feet, too.
One last thing: if you have diabetes, make a yearly foot check-up and screening with Martin Foot & Ankle part of your routine, too. This helps us spot risk factors and warning signs ahead of time, and provide any additional treatments or preventative care (such as diabetic shoes) that can help you prevent medical complications and retain your mobility, independence, and lifestyle.
To make your appointment with Martin Foot & Ankle at one of our five convenient locations, please call today at (717) 757-3537. You can also fill out a contact form online and a member of our team will contact you shortly thereafter.