November is officially Diabetes Awareness Month in the United States, but anyone who lives with this condition knows that true awareness can’t be limited to just one month. Proper care means a 365-day-per-year commitment!
That due diligence of care extends throughout the body—including the feet. In fact, foot health is high priority when it comes to managing diabetes as a whole.
The feet are particularly vulnerable to complications of diabetes, which have a nasty way of creeping in and compounding over the long run. That means the more you can do for your diabetic foot care now, the better your overall foot health will be in the future, and the better positioned you will be to further resist trouble.
Because just as the effects of diabetes can slowly creep in and build over the years, the small steps you take now can provide major benefits for you in the future. Even if your feet currently feel perfect, there is no better time to start good diabetic foot care than now!
Here are a few of those small steps you can start taking. If you are seeking further diabetic foot care advice, or have any questions about your particular situation, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’ll be happy to consult with you!
Pay Attention to Your Footwear
One of the primary foot health concerns with diabetes is that complications will gradually interfere with how fast your feet heel from injuries, as well as how capable you are of sensing foot injuries in the first place.
Impediments to circulation and nerve function in the feet can eventually lead to big trouble if damage occurs unnoticed and has the opportunity to worsen into a deep wound or ulcer.
This is not a problem you want to one day find yourself facing. Taking simple measures now to reduce the risk of damage to your feet can pay off in the long run without inhibiting your quality of life now.
The habits you develop with your footwear are crucial. They’re a first line of protection for your feet, but can also cause problems of their own if you are not careful. Keep the following tips in mind:
- Shake out your shoes. The only thing worse than feeling something foreign in your shoes is there being something in there you don’t feel. Make it a ritual to shake out your shoes before putting them on, and even feel inside with your hands to make sure. You can also detect any worn or frayed areas inside your shoes this way.
- Keep your shoes on more often. You should definitely not go around outside barefoot. The risk of foot damage is too high. However, it also doesn’t hurt to consider wearing clean shoes indoors as well for added protection.
- Consider diabetic shoes and socks. Footwear for people with diabetes is specially designed to reduce as many potential points of pressure and friction against the foot as possible. Many socks and shoes are even made to keep seams from rubbing up against the foot. This footwear comes in a variety of styles and for different needs, too – including for athletes and active folks!
Inspect Your Feet Every Day – Without Fail
We can never stress this one enough. Knowing what’s going on with your feet every day can easily save you from a big problem.
Taking a few minutes each day to look over your feet for signs of trouble is an extremely sound investment of your time. Identifying and taking action to address signs of trouble as they develop is always going to be much better for diabetic feet than giving problems the opportunity to become worse.
Make a habit of checking your feet at the same convenient time each day. This might be when you get out of the shower or right before you go to bed – whatever works best for you. Check for any signs of damage, discoloration, corns, calluses, ingrown toenails, plantar warts… essentially, anything that just shouldn’t be there.
When you do see something, use your best judgment and let us know if it’s something that needs prompt attention or doesn’t improve after a few days. And if you aren’t certain whether it’s worth calling us about, call us anyway.
We are always happy to help, even if our recommendation may be to just keep an eye on something for now. We’d rather provide you some peace of mind regarding a smaller problem than potentially miss something that will need more advanced treatment.
And yes, we highly recommend you start inspecting your feet now, no matter what their condition currently is. Remember that diligence is the key here, and you want to have a great record by the time something does show up. We hope it never happens, but if it does, you’ll already have a ton of experience knowing what your feet should look and feel like, and be able to spot it at its earliest arrival.
The Best-Laid Plans for Diabetic Feet
We know there is plenty to consider when diabetes is in the picture. Every action you take, from properly managing your blood sugar to keeping your feet safer, benefits your whole being and quality of life – now and in the years to come.
We would love to be in your corner as part of a diabetes management team, including your primary care physician and other specialists. We can help keep your feet in top condition with annual check-ups and timely advice that matches your personal needs.
Call us at (760) 568-0108 to schedule an appointment with us, or fill out our online contact form if you prefer to reach out to us electronically.