A Prescription for Healthy Living

Once you have been diagnosed with diabetes, you may find it surprising that not only must you now work at maintaining healthy blood sugar levels, but equally important is learning to take good care of your feet! What in the world do feet have to do with diabetes, you may wonder. Actually, the relation is quite important. Improper or poor hygiene of the feet can lead to many serious health-related issues, the most serious being amputation. A person with diabetes is at a much higher risk of developing certain problems with their feet because of the subsequent nerve damage and reduction in normal blood distribution that may occur over time. As a result, you may receive a list of guidelines from your healthcare provider that have been designed to assist you in maintaining optimal health, both with managing glucose levels and proper care of your feet. The following is a list of recommended daily tips to implement into your routine:

Visual Examination of the Paws

Conduct a thorough examination of your feet each morning, paying particular attention to any new blisters, areas of redness or inflammation, cuts, or toenail problems. Use a handheld magnifying makeup mirror for an up-close peek at the soles of your feet. If you notice anything unusual, contact your endocrinologist and inform him of your findings.

Soak Them Dogs

Soak your feet in lukewarm water. Pay attention to the water temperature, as water should not be too hot. Clean your feet at least once a day. Pour a mild cleanser onto a washcloth or bath sponge, and gently clean your feet. Do not scrub. Gently pat or blot your feet until they are completely dry. Make sure to get in between your toes.

Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize

And when you’re finished, moisturize them some more. It is important to keep the tops and soles of your feet from becoming dry or cracked. Cracked skin on your feet can be quite painful, and may even turn into an infection. Avoid rubbing moisturizer in between your toes as this is where most fungal infections occur.

Manicure Those Hooves

Keep toenails cut relatively short, but not too short, as doing so could potentially result in an ingrown nail. Cut nails straight across, and then file sharp edges to keep them from scratching other toes, or from becoming snagged on socks or stockings. If you have trouble doing this yourself, make an appointment with a podiatrist to have your nails taken care of in their office rather than having them done at a nail salon.

Clean Socks and Stockings

Be careful when selecting socks. You may not have ever even considered the type of socks you purchase, but it is important to try on your socks to make sure that the elastic on the calves is not too tight, as this could interfere with your circulation. Additionally, avoid bulky sport socks as they can be especially irritating to the skin on your feet.

Keep Your Tootsies Warm

Keep your feet warm at night by wearing socks to bed. Do not use a heating pad or any other method, as you may injure the delicate skin on your feet. If socks feel too confining at night, use an extra blanket.

Don’t Skimp On Shoes

You can’t put your best foot forward if it is stuffed like a sausage into an ill-fitting shoe. Always try on your shoes before purchasing them. Test them out by walking up and down the aisle at the store. Be sure to try the shoes on while wearing the type of stocking or sock you plan to wear with them on a consistent basis. Furthermore, be sure there is nothing hiding inside the shoe to avoid any potential injuries to the feet.

Keep Those Puppies Warm and Dry

Be sure to invest in a pair of rain and snow boots rather than expose your feet to inclement weather conditions. Keeping your feet warm and dry, especially during the cold and rainy season, is a great way to keep your feet in tip-top condition.

No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service

Never go shoeless, even inside your own home. Yes, that sounds like a drag, especially during the summer, but like Mom always said, it is better to be safe than sorry!

Following these few tips is a good way to keep your feet uninjured and in good health.

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