Foot Care for People with Diabetes

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Foot Care for People with Diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects how your body turns food into energy. There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. In type 1 diabetes, your body does not make insulin. In type 2 diabetes, your body does not make enough insulin or does not use insulin well.

Insulin is a hormone that helps glucose, or sugar, get from your blood into your cells. Without insulin, your blood sugar levels can get too high. High blood sugar levels can damage your blood vessels and nerves, and this damage can lead to a number of health problems, including foot problems.

Foot problems are common in people with diabetes. In fact, about one in four people with diabetes will develop a foot problem each year. Foot problems can be serious, and they can even lead to amputation.

There are a number of things you can do to prevent foot problems if you have diabetes. These include:

  • Checking your feet every day for cuts, blisters, or other injuries.
  • Washing your feet every day with soap and water.
  • Drying your feet thoroughly, especially between the toes.
  • Wearing clean, dry socks.
  • Wearing shoes that fit well and provide support.
  • Trimming your toenails straight across.
  • Seeing your doctor or podiatrist regularly for foot exams.

If you do develop a foot problem, it is important to see your doctor or podiatrist right away. Early treatment can help to prevent the problem from getting worse.

Here are some of the most common foot problems in people with diabetes:

  • Neuropathy. Neuropathy is damage to the nerves in your feet. It can cause numbness, tingling, pain, or weakness in your feet. Neuropathy can also make it difficult to feel injuries to your feet.
  • Peripheral artery disease (PAD). PAD is a condition in which the arteries in your legs and feet become narrowed or blocked. This can reduce blood flow to your feet and cause pain, numbness, or tingling. PAD can also increase your risk of developing foot ulcers.
  • Foot ulcers. Foot ulcers are open sores on the feet. They can be caused by a number of factors, including neuropathy, PAD, and trauma. Foot ulcers can become infected and can lead to serious complications, including amputation.
  • Charcot foot. Charcot foot is a condition in which the bones in your feet become weak and deformed. It can be caused by neuropathy and can lead to foot ulcers and amputation.

Foot care is an important part of managing diabetes. By following the tips above, you can help to prevent foot problems and keep your feet healthy.

Additional Tips for Foot Care

In addition to the tips above, there are a few other things you can do to take care of your feet if you have diabetes:

  • Avoid walking barefoot. This can help to prevent injuries and infections.
  • Wear shoes that are made of breathable materials. This will help to keep your feet dry and prevent blisters.
  • Change your socks frequently. This will help to keep your feet dry and prevent foot odor.
  • Moisturize your feet regularly. This will help to keep your skin soft and prevent cracks.
  • Get regular pedicures. This can help to keep your feet clean and healthy.

By following these tips, you can help to keep your feet healthy and prevent foot problems.

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