Spring seems to have finally sprung in Indiana. Warmer weather means sandal season for most, but for those living with diabetes, footwear that rubs the wrong way can lead to serious health concerns. Many people with diabetes are unaware of how important it is to care for and protect their feet. Leigh Ann Brooks, nursing services operational lead, Diabetes Education, Parkview Regional Medical Center, explains the correlation between diabetes and foot care.
Did you know?
- 12.2 percent of Americans have diabetes.
- More than 2 million have a diabetic foot ulcer right now.
- 15 percent of people with diabetic foot ulcers will experience an amputation.
- 50 percent of patients who have amputations die within the next 5 years.
High blood sugar can lead to poor circulation, immune issues, nerve damage and infection. When an injury occurs to the foot, someone with diabetes may experience a longer recovery time. If it is left untreated, this can lead to infection and possible amputation.
Tips for protecting your feet
- Check your feet daily for cuts, calluses, scratches and blisters.
- Wash your feet daily.
- Apply lotion if your feet are dry, but avoid putting it between your toes.
- Clip your nails after washing and drying your feet so they are softer to cut.
- Wear shoes at all times.
- Wear shoes that fit well.
- Avoid crossing your legs as it decreases blood flow to your feet.
- Do not place feet near a heat source such as a heater, heating pad or a fire pit.
- Wash any cuts or sores with soap and water.
- Report any cuts, sores or bruises to your doctor.
- Take your shoes and socks off when you see your doctor to allow them to assess your feet.
Prevention and intervention are key in keeping yourself, and your feet, healthy.