According to the American Diabetes Association, 9.3% of Americans have diabetes, a disease affecting the way the human body processes glucose. Over an extended period of time, high glucose levels can damage the nervous system, reducing sensation in the feet.
Due to the suppression of the immune response and reduced blood flow to the feet in diabetics, the body may be unable to heal wounds you suffer to your feet. As sensation has already been reduced, if you aren’t checking your feet regularly, you may not realize your feet are injured until it’s too late. If left untreated, bacterial infections can lead to gangrene, which may require amputation to ensure that the infection does not spread to other parts of the body.
What Can I Do?
There are some simple precautions you can take to keep your feet healthy as a diabetic.
- Check your feet daily.
- Keep your diabetes under control.
- Wash your feet daily.
- Keep your feet moisturized (but no lotion between the toes, as moisture here can create conditions friendly to fungal infection).
- Encourage circulation in your feet by wiggling your toes and changing positions regularly.
- Meet regularly with your trusted podiatrist.
If you suffer from diabetes, it is crucial that you ensure foot health by working with your podiatrist to reduce the likelihood of infection and quickly treat any infection that arises. Contact me today to learn how I can help you protect your feet for a lifetime.