Whether or not we think about it, foot care is important for everyone. The feet and ankles are the base of the human body, allowing us to stand and be mobile. When an individual lives with diabetes, though, caring for the lower appendages takes on heightened importance and comes with certain challenges. Fortunately, there are ways to make diabetic foot care a normal routine that keeps you safe and healthy.
This disease disrupts the body’s ability to produce sufficient quantities of insulin, takes away cells’ ability to respond properly to insulin, or causes both issues concurrently.
Insulin is a necessary hormone that regulates glucose levels in the blood by allowing sugar to enter cells as an energy source. This natural process is disturbed when cells become resistant to the insulin or the body does not produce enough of the hormone. Either situation can lead to elevated blood sugar levels that have the potential to cause long-term problems.
Diabetes and Feet
Two issues that are rather common with diabetes can work together to create a particularly dangerous threat to the health of feet. The first of these is peripheral arterial disease (PAD). Individuals afflicted with diabetes often have poor circulation, which is especially problematic for feet, given that they are already the furthest points from the heart. Reduced blood flow makes it even more difficult for them to receive the nourishment they need.
The other common issue is diabetic neuropathy. This condition results in damaged nerves that lose their ability to send messages to the central nervous system (spine and brain). The inherent danger is that you might sustain an injury without being aware of it. Left untreated, minor issues can snowball into very serious medical conditions.
The Basics of Diabetic Foot Care
In order to decrease the risk of a serious medical emergency developing, those who live with the disease need to take measures for both protection and early detection of various issues. They include:
- Daily foot inspections – With an impaired ability to feel physical sensations, you must inspect your feet daily —tops, bottoms, and between the toes—and look for cuts, scrapes, bruises, and anything out of the ordinary.
- Proper hygiene practices – Infections pose a heightened risk on account of poor circulation and a weakened immune system. To help fend them off, wash your feet daily with mild soap and warm (not hot!) water.
- Careful nail trimming – Ingrown nails can increase the risk of infection, so toenails should be kept even with the edges of your toes and trimmed straight across.
- Foot protection – Proper footwear needs to always be worn, even when indoors. Before putting on diabetic socks and shoes, check the insides to make sure nothing is inside them that could potentially damage your feet.
- Regularly-scheduled foot exams – Appointments at Advanced Foot and Ankle, on a regular basis, are a smart way to ensure that everything is okay.
The Importance of Diabetic Foot Care
If you do not already have a good foot care plan in place, we can help you create one that works for you to protect your feet and reduce the risk of complications. Early detection of abnormalities and conditions will help you receive treatment when the issues are in their most treatable stages.
Peripheral arterial disease and diabetic neuropathy form a dangerous one-two punch that can lead to issues like Charcot foot or even tissue death (gangrene). Charcot foot can result in severe deformity, and gangrene is irreversible and will often require amputation to prevent the spread of dangerous infection.
Professional Diabetic Foot Care in Twin Falls, ID
Foot care is crucial if you are diabetic, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. The best way to make it easier on yourself is to enlist the help of the caring, knowledgeable professionals here at Advanced Foot and Ankle. We are always dedicated to your health and safety, so contact us today. Schedule your appointment online or call our Twin Falls office at (208) 731-6321 or our Burley office at (208) 312-4646 for additional information.
Are You Looking for Expert Foot Care in Twin Falls, ID?
If you are looking for foot care, you should reach out to an experienced podiatrist. Ready to schedule an appointment? Contact us online our Twin Falls office at 208.731.6321.