High blood sugar can cause nerve damage, which can lead to loss of feeling in the feet. When you have diabetes, it puts you at risk for foot injuries and infections. Poor wound healing is also a risk when blood sugar levels are high and this could cause foot ulcers which, if left untreated, can lead to amputation.
Here are some tips to keep your feet healthy:
Manage your diabetes to keep your blood sugar levels within target, with the help of your team of healthcare professionals.
Inspect your feet daily.
Try to do this at a specific time each day, such as when you bathe them or when you take your shoes off at night. Inspect the bottom of your feet (soles), nails, and between your toes. Look for cuts, blisters, swelling, and redness.
Wash your feet every day.
Use mild soap and lukewarm water; wipe them thoroughly, especially between the toes and apply moisturizer, but not between the toes where moisture could cause germs to grow.
Take care of your toenails.
Cut your nails, if possible and only if necessary; smooth the angles with a file, to prevent your nails from pushing through the skin. Seek professional help to take care of your feet if you can’t do it safely on your own.
Protect your feet from hot and cold.
Refrain from applying hot water bottles, hot or cold packs, or electric blankets; check the water temperature before you put your feet in it.
Always wear comfortable socks and shoes.
Never go barefoot, even indoors. Choose well-fitting shoes and protect your feet with socks to keep them dry. Check the inside of your shoes before putting them on to make sure that nothing could irritate your feet.
Discuss with your healthcare professional any injuries, blisters, irritations, cracks, or changes in your feet, such as their color, shape, temperature or any pain. Get the help you need, including a referral to a foot doctor in Chattanooga TN.
Stop smoking; tobacco reduces blood circulation in the feet, which can lead to foot problems.