We provide many valuable services here at our Indianapolis podiatrist office, but one of the most important is diabetic foot care. Since there is no cure for diabetes, education and treatment are essential for keeping the lower limbs safe when an individual lives with diabetes.
Diabetes affects the body in a variety of ways, but one that is easy to overlook is the role it has in foot health and safety. When you stop and consider the fact that the lower appendages are already the furthest points on the body from the heart, it stands to reason that impaired circulation (peripheral vascular disease) from diabetes makes it difficult for the feet and toes to receive the nourishment they need.
Another condition often accompanying diabetes is peripheral neuropathy, which affects the body's ability to feel pain and recognize when an injury has been sustained. With diabetic neuropathy, you might sustain a minor wound, be completely unaware of it, and not treat the issue. Given the body’s impaired circulatory and immune systems, the wound will continue to break down and create the risk of a necessary amputation.
Diabetic care is centered on prevention and protection measures to reduce the risk of those serious consequences that arise due to diabetic foot ulcers. These include:
- Managing your glucose levels. (Good AICs RULE!)
- Daily foot inspection – including tops, bottoms, and between the toes.
- Not walking barefoot, especially at home.
- Keeping your feet dry to reduce the risk of an infection the body has a diminished ability to fight.
- Moisturizing to prevent cracks and fissures that could lead to infection. (But don't moisturize between your toes.)
- Not performing "bathroom surgery" and cutting thickened, deformed nails or calluses at home.
- Planning a physical activity program with your physician or our professionals.
Taking responsible diabetic foot care measures like these are absolutely essential. Failure to do so increases your risk for dangerous medical complications like Charcot foot and diabetic foot ulcers. Additionally, proper management for diabetes—when performed early—can prevent damage to nerves, blood vessels, and the immune system from elevated blood sugar levels.
It is difficult to overstate the importance of diabetic foot care in keeping you safe, healthy, and reducing the risk of needing a potential amputation. Make sure to come in and see us for all of your foot care needs when you live with diabetes. We can help you create a foot care plan and provide the treatment you need to prevent diabetic foot ulcers from developing.
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