Diabetes & Foot Care
The high blood sugar levels that result from diabetes can gradually erode your body’s ability to fight infections. Other serious complications may include peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage), decreased blood circulation, and foot ulcers. Since the healing process is slower and compromised, infection can spread quickly and a wound can become a major problem often leading to amputation of a toe or worse.
Being proactive in your diabetes management includes having regular visits with your foot doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Some of the preventative measures you can take to decrease diabetes related foot conditions include:
● Foot inspection — Since worsening diabetes causes numbness in your extremities from the nerve damage, you will have very little or no feeling in your feet. This makes it difficult to tell when an injury occurs without doing a visual inspection. You could walk around all day with a sharp stone in your shoe and not even feel it.
● Cleanliness — Keeping your feet clean and free of bacteria will help prevent fungal infections. Always be sure to dry your feet well between the toes, since this area is prone to getting bacterial or fungal inhabitants that thrive in moisture.
● Toenail care — To avoid complications from ingrown toenails, it’s always a good idea to cut your nails straight across rather than on a curve so the edge of the nail doesn’t grow into the surrounding skin.
● Proper footwear — Always protect your feet with breathable socks and properly fitted shoes. There are special shoes available for diabetics that provide extra support, protection, and cushioning.
Managing your diabetes can be a stressful experience, so it helps to have a foot care specialist on your team. At Fit Feet for Life, our team of board-certified podiatrists has access to advanced technologies and years of experience to help diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle problems, including heel pain, sports injuries, toe deformities, nail fungus, and plantar warts. Bonnie Sanchez, DPM, and Gregory Cook, DPM, provide high quality foot and ankle care to patients in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area at our five offices conveniently located in Sun City Center, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, and our two Tampa locations. Please contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.