7 Ways To Keep Your Feet Healthy With Diabetes
Foot problems are common in all people with diabetes. However, African Americans are at greatest risk. In 2012, African Americans were hospitalized 3.5 times more for lower limb amputations as compared to whites. The good news is you can lower your chances of having diabetes-related foot problems by taking care of your feet every day. Managing your blood glucose levels can also help keep your feet healthy.
What Causes Diabetes Foot Problems?
One of the complications of diabetes that can have a negative impact on foot health is diabetic neuropathy, a type of nerve damage. Diabetic Neuropathy can cause tingling and pain and can make you lose feeling in your feet. When you lose feeling in your feet, you may not feel a pebble inside your sock or a blister on your foot, which can lead to cuts and sores. Cuts and sores can become infected.
Peripheral vascular disease, another complication often seen in people with diabetes, can lower the amount of blood flow in the lower part of your legs and feet. Poor blood flow deprives the skin and other tissues of oxygen and decreases the ability of white blood cells to get to the site of infection to promote healing. Improper healing can lead to gangrene and amputation of your toe, foot, or part of your leg.
The following tips can help lower your chances of having diabetes-related foot problems.
Check your feet every day. Foot problems can develop overnight. Check the top and bottom of your feet every morning and before bed each night. Look for problems such as cuts, sores, red spots, swelling or fluid-filled blisters. If you notice any problems with your feet contact your healthcare provider immediately.