What Does Diabetic Foot Care Involve?
Diabetic foot care is an essential part of managing diabetes—a condition that affects millions of people each year and carries the risk of foot problems. This article will walk you through some of the common foot-related issues that arise for those with diabetes and what you can do to keep your feet healthy.
What are the signs of diabetic foot problems?
If you have diabetes, there are several common symptoms you should watch out for to make sure your feet stay healthy. Here are some of the signs to keep an eye out for:
- Tingling or burning feeling in the feet
- Loss of sensation/numbness
- Appearance of open sores or blisters on the feet
- Discoloration of feet
- Deformities or changes to the structure of the feet
If left untreated, diabetes-related foot problems can develop into more advanced conditions. Here are two severe complications that can emerge:
Charcot neuropathy: In those with diabetes, damage to the nerves of the lower legs and feet can cause a loss of sensation in the feet. Diabetic nerve damage can then contribute to inflammation, which leads to the weakening and dislocation of the bones, joints, and soft tissues of the foot. If left untreated, this condition can lead to major foot deformities and later pressure sores.
Charcot Marie Tooth disease: This condition is another form of neuropathy that attacks the peripheral nerves that transmit sensory information from your body to your brain. Nerve damage from this condition can then cause loss of sensation, muscle weakness, deformed feet shape, and an awkward gait, making it difficult to walk and get around. This condition also gets progressively worse over time.
Healthy practices for diabetic foot care
To avoid developing serious orthopedic complications from diabetes, it’s important to regularly take care of your feet. Here are some of the best practices you should follow to keep your feet healthy:
- Regularly examine your feet for changes in color, shape, and sensitivity
- Wash your feet in warm water (avoid hot water)
- Moisturize your feet with lotion or oil
- Keep your toenails trimmed to avoid sores and ulcers
- Avoid handling corns, calluses, or sores by yourself
- Protect your feet from the elements and extreme temperatures
- Always wear socks and shoes; avoid going barefoot
- Consider shoes or socks specifically designed for those with diabetes
- Manage your blood sugar levels
- Get regular medical examinations of your feet
Since one of the common symptoms of diabetic foot problems is a loss of sensation, it’s important to protect your feet from temperatures, moisture, and footwear that you may not be able to feel and which can lead to wounds and infection.
Managing diabetic foot care with Midwest Orthopaedic Consultants
Diabetes is a complex condition that can result in serious complications if not well managed. If you start experiencing symptoms of diabetes-related foot problems, it’s time to get checked out to make sure you catch any developing conditions early.
At Midwest Orthopaedic Consultants, our orthopedic specialists work hard to help you take care of your feet and avoid dangerous complications. Diabetic foot care can be overwhelming, but we’re ready to help you manage your condition to keep your feet healthy.
Only a doctor can tell you if you have this ailment. This is for informational purposes and should not be used in lieu of a doctor’s opinion.