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How to Prevent Diabetic Foot Complications

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It’s really true what they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This is certainly true in the case of foot care for diabetics. Foot care for diabetics is very important.

High blood sugars may cause eventual problems with blood circulation and nerve damage (neuropathy). Both of these conditions cause loss of sensation in the lower extremities. As a result, individuals may have injured themselves and not know it until too late.

If an individual has diabetes, simple injuries to the foot can lead to more serious situations. It can be as simple as a blister or a cut which can lead to an ulcer or something life threatening, such as, gangrene. If the skin and underlying tissues are damaged enough, the only option is amputation. However, there are steps for prevention. Below are some suggestions for preventive foot care:

1. Examine the feet everyday for any changes – cuts, sores, or blisters. If you need assistance to check them thoroughly, use a mirror or ask for help from family or friends.

2. After you wash your feet, put lotion on them, but not between your toes.

3. After showering, use a pumice stone while feet are still moist.

4. Cut toenails as needed. The best time is after bathing – when nails are soft. Cut and file nails as they naturally grow.

5. Always wear shoes and always wear shoes with socks and/or stockings. Sandals are not a good option as rocks and debris may cut the feet.

6. When you shop for shoes, the best time is later on in the day, when the feet are bigger.

7. Tell your doctor of any foot complications (skin darkening or loss of hair on the legs or feet). The rule of thumb is to get your feet examined every year.

8. Ask your doctor for recommendations for the best lotions, sensation tests for the feet that you can do yourself, the best foot care tips, and if needed, a referral to a podiatrist for pedicure assistance. If your feet shape has changed, ask your doctor about therapeutic shoes.

9. Drink lots of water to keep the body hydrated.

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October 14, 2009 - 2:05pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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