People with diabetes may develop serious problems with their feet and legs so it is vitally important that everything is done to reduce the likelihood of developing these problems.
Diabetes can cause changes to two important systems of the body;
Nerves can be damaged if you have too much sugar in the blood. If the nerves are damaged they will not work properly. This could lead to:
Too much sugar in the blood can damage and clog the vessels that carry blood to the feet. Smoking makes this much worse. These changes often cause:
By taking good care of your feet and managing your diabetes well, you may prevent many of these problems from occurring.
There are 6 things you can do to take make sure you reduce your risk of foot problems.
Step 1: Control Your Diabetes
Try to keep good control of your diabetes. This will reduce your risk of nerve and blood vessel damage.
Step 2: Look at Your Feet Daily
If you can’t feel your feet how will you know if something is wrong with them? Check your feet morning and night. Use a mirror or ask for help if you cannot reach your feet.
Step 3: Look After Your Feet
Keep your feet clean, apply a moisturising cream to the heels and dry well between the toes every day.
Step 4: Look After Your Toenails
Cut your toenails as recommended or have your podiatrist do this for you.
Step 5: Wear the Right Shoes
Your shoes need to fit the shape of your foot and be appropriate for the types of activities you are doing. Ask your Podiatrist to check your shoes regularly.
Step 6: Have a Regular Check Up
Your feet should be checked by your Podiatrist at least once every 6 months regarding your diabetes and more regularly if you have problems reaching or seeing your feet. Ask for an assessment if you have not had your diabetes foot review this year!
Remember, you only have one pair of feet. Should you notice any problems with your feet, ask your Podiatrist or Doctor to look at them straight away.
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