According to the American Diabetes Association, approximately 9.3% of Americans have diabetes, a condition that affects the body’s ability to process glucose effectively. Over time, high levels of glucose can lead to damage to the nervous system, resulting in reduced sensation in the feet.
For individuals with diabetes, the immune response may be weakened, and blood flow to the feet can be impaired. This combination makes it difficult for the body to heal wounds that occur on the feet. Since sensation is diminished, foot injuries may go unnoticed until they become severe. If left untreated, bacterial infections can develop and potentially lead to gangrene, which may necessitate amputation to prevent the infection from spreading.
How Can I Protect My Feet?
There are several simple precautions you can take to maintain healthy feet as a diabetic:
- Conduct a daily foot check to inspect for any cuts, sores, or abnormalities.
- Keep your diabetes well-managed by following your healthcare provider’s recommendations.
- Clean your feet daily with mild soap and lukewarm water.
- Moisturize your feet regularly, excluding the areas between the toes to prevent excessive moisture and fungal infections.
- Promote circulation in your feet by periodically wiggling your toes and changing positions.
- Schedule regular appointments with your trusted podiatrist for comprehensive foot care.
If you have diabetes, it is crucial to prioritize foot health by working closely with your podiatrist. By taking preventive measures and promptly addressing any foot concerns, you can minimize the risk of infection and ensure the long-term well-being of your feet. Contact us today to learn how our team can assist you in protecting your feet for a lifetime.