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Diabetic Footcare


Diabetes is a disease where the body stops producing insulin, or use insulin properly.  Diabetes inhibits the body’s ability to convert sugar into energy, resulting in high blood sugar.  High blood sugar causes hardening and deterioration of small arterial blood vessels.  Deterioration of these small blood vessels can cause damage to the eyes, kidneys, heart, and nerves.  Additionally, high blood sugar decreases the immune system’s ability to fight infection.


It is estimated that there are 26 million Americans that have been diagnosed with diabetes, and another 7 million that have diabetes, but have not been diagnosed yet.  There is no cure for diabetes, but it can be managed.  Proper diet, exercise, medical care, and careful home management can greatly reduce the effects of diabetes.


Diabetes and Your Feet


Symptoms and foot conditions caused by diabetes:

  • Foot wounds or ulcers that are slow to heal

  • Infection

  • Burning

  • Numbness

  • Tingling

  • Athlete’s foot

  • Toenail fungus

  • Mild to severe foot deformity

  • Discoloration of legs


Healthy Feet


The American Diabetes Association recommends at least yearly exams by a Podiatrist for diabetics with no symptoms.  Diabetics with symptoms should be seen more frequently by a Podiatrist.  Care for your feet should include the following:

  • Manage your glucose levels with your Primary Care Provider

  • Check your feet every day.  Look for cuts, red spots, blisters or anything else abnormal.  Use a mirror, or another person to look at the bottom of your feet.

  • Get active.  Plan a physical activity program with your Health Provider team.  Pump your legs up and down regularly during the day to help blood flow to your feet.

  • Wear shoes and socks at all times.   Never go barefoot.  Check the inside of your shoes before you put them on.

  • Protect your feet from hot and cold.  Test bath water before stepping in.  Protect your feet from hot pavement.  Do not use ice, heat pads, electric blankets, hot water bottles, etc, as you can burn or freeze your feet without realizing it.

  • Toenails and calluses can be trimmed by your Podiatrist if you meet the criteria outlined by your insurance company.

  • Wear supportive shoes that fit well.  You may qualify for diabetic shoes and inserts, ask your Primary Care Provider, or your Podiatrist.

  • See your Podiatrist at least annually.

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