Our feet play a vital and important role in our daily lives — they keep us mobile and moving, which ultimately escorts independent living, longer. Foot injuries and accidents happen — both quickly and over time — and it’s crucial to cultivate foot and ankle health in our wellness journies! Below we’ll touch on the foot care essentials for those with diabetes, foot care for athletes and seniors, and how shoes can help or hurt our feet.
Diabetic Foot Care
If you are managing type 2 diabetes, caring for your feet is vital for avoiding common complications. Having diabetes puts you at a greater risk for corns, bunions, calluses, ulcers, and blisters.
Because unmanaged and poorly managed high blood sugar levels damage nerves, it leads to a health condition called diabetic neuropathy that can potentially harm the legs and feet if left unchecked. The impaired nerves cause you to lose feeling in your feet which makes it extremely difficult to detect and feel pain, thus unable to detect wounds or ingrown toenails. If these wounds go untreated, it can lead to infection and a potential foot amputation.
With proper foot care, you can better manage your disease and prevent disabling infections and further foot complications.
Inspect your feet every day
If you have type 2 diabetes, make it a priority to inspect your feet every day. You may not even realize it at first, but a small sore or crack can lead to major complications. So, thoroughly examine your feet for any changes in color, sores, open wounds, dryness, or cracks. If you have trouble examining your feet, get a better look with a mirror or ask someone to help you check.
Avoid being barefoot
Whether you’re indoors or not, don’t go barefoot! When you’re barefoot, you place yourself at greater risk for scapes, small cuts, and penetration by sharp objects. Instead, wear slippers or shoes around your house to protect your feet at all times.
Keep your feet dry
Whenever you expose your feet to the water the skin can become moist and break down, making your feet softer and easier to penetrate. Keep your feet dry by toweling your feet off after they’ve been washed and changing your socks if your feet become sweaty or wet.
Improve your overall circulation
To keep everything moving and open, improve your diabetic neuropathy by getting your circulation moving. Exercise is a wonderful way to increase your circulation and it also promotes weight loss which is highly advantageous in diabetes management.
Smoking gravely affects your circulation so if you are a smoker and suffer from diabetes, it is important to reduce and eventually quit this habit. Cigarette smoke constricts your blood vessels and deprives them of vital, oxygen-rich blood that supports your overall health.
There are many solutions to keeping your feet healthy, even when you’re dealing with diabetic neuropathy. Connect with us for additional methods and information.