The number of Americans with diabetes has reached epic proportions and is growing by 1.5 million each year.
Diabetes is a serious condition that can lead to critical complications like glaucoma, kidney failure, heart disease and stroke. But did you know that those with diabetes are also at risk for foot conditions that may result in the loss of a toe, foot or leg? At Your Next Step we see patients every day who have foot damage caused by diabetes.
Warning Signs of Diabetes Often Appear in Your Feet
Nerve damage caused by diabetes can cause loss of feeling in the feet (called peripheral neuropathy). You may not feel that you have a blister or a pebble in your shoe, and these could lead to sores and cuts. Diabetes also causes restricted blood flow so any minor foot damage can lead to ulcers and wounds that do not heal properly.
Watch out for warning signs of diabetes in your feet:
- Numbness or tingling feeling
- Foot pain
- Cuts or sores on the feet that don’t heal
- Changes in foot appearance or toe shape
If you notice any of these symptoms, come in for a visit to our Ardmore or Paoli, PA offices as soon as possible. Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich or Dr. Aliza V. Eisen will give your feet a complete examination. We will take the time to discuss any problems with you and develop a customized treatment plan.
Keeping Your Feet Healthy
If you or a family member has diabetes, it’s crucial to maintain good foot health. Here are some tips that are quick and easy to do:
- Inspect feet daily for anything unusual like sores, cuts and infected toenails. Don’t miss the bottom of your foot – use a mirror.
- Wash feet every day in warm, soapy water.
- Dry carefully especially between the toes.
- Keep skin supple by applying lotion or cream on tops and bottoms of the feet – not between the toes.
- Don’t cut or file corns and calluses yourself. Come in to our office for treatment.
- Trim toenails straight across, not into the corners.
- Never go barefoot as you may step on an object without feeling it.
- Look for socks with no seams. Choose well-fitting shoes with plenty of room in the toe box – our in-office shoe store has stylish shoes designed to address your foot health risks.
- Elevate your legs while sitting to maintain blood flow to the feet. Avoid sitting for long periods – take a walk instead.
- Don’t smoke as this reduces blood flow to the feet.
Try to increase your activity to increase blood flow. After checking with your doctor, start slowly by walking – you only need a good pair of walking shoes.
Contact us at 610-642-8837 or visit our website for an appointment with our board certified foot doctors if you or a family member has any foot pain, numbness or sores that aren’t healing. Today is the day for you to take steps toward better foot health.