Foot Care and Diabetes
by Alexada (Articlesbase)
Foot health is especially important for people who have diabetes, because of the risk of complications.
Diabetes can limit blood supply to your feet and cause a loss of feeling. This can mean foot injuries do not heal well, while the lack of feeling means you may not notice if your foot is sore or injured. If you have diabetes, you2019re 15 times more likely to have a limb amputated due to infection-causing gangrene.
201CThe risk of complications can be greatly reduced if you're able to bring your blood sugar levels under control,201D says podiatrist (foot specialist) Mike O2019Neill.
201CEnsure that your blood pressure and cholesterol levels are also monitored and controlled with medication if needed. Smoking is also not a good idea as it has an adverse effect to the blood supply to your feet.201D
If you have diabetes, it's important to:
- See a private or NHS podiatrist at least once a year. Ask your GP for a referral.
- Keep your feet clean and free from infection.
- Wear shoes that fit well and which don2019t squeeze or rub.
- Don2019t ever walk barefoot, especially in the garden or on the beach on holidays.
- Make sure your toenails are cut or filed regularly.
- If you develop corns or hard skin, don't treat them yourself. See a podiatrist, who will advise you on the best way to manage your foot problems (no matter how trivial you may consider them to be).
- Seek professional treatment from your GP or podiatrist if blisters or injuries do not heal quickly.
- Ulcers should be treated as a matter of urgency within 24 hours, especially if there is redness or swelling around the area, or where you
have previously been warned to seek immediate attention.
Seek medical attention immediately if:
- You see breaks in the skin of your foot or a discharge.
- The skin changes colour and becomes either redder, bluer, paler or darker over part or all of the foot.
- You notice extra swelling in your feet where there was a blister or injury.
'I was terribly ill and my foot was black'
Anna Levis, 36, is a legal secretary from Essex. Last year she had her little toe and part of her foot amputated due to diabetes-related gangrene
201CI2019ve been diabetic since I was four years old. I first went to my GP about my feet in August 2006 after a new pair of shoes caused blisters on both my little toes. I had the blisters dressed daily for two weeks by my GP practice nurse and also visited A&E because I was so worried about them.
201CBut over one weekend gangrene set in. I was living alone at the time and spent a Saturday night delirious with fever and pain. By Sunday morning, I was terribly ill and my foot was black. I was rushed to hospital but had to have my little toe and part of my right foot amputated.
201CI2019ve since had to have a whole year off work. I2019ve taken such strong antibiotics for so many months that I2019ve gone from a size 12 to a size six. I've only just recently been able to walk and get about normally again. No matter what age you are, if you have diabetes you must make sure you have good foot care.201DAbout the Author:
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