DIABETIC FOOTCARE CAN SAVE A LIFE
For many people, feet are something that’s beneath their notice, so to speak. Unless the cause of an acute problem, they simply aren’t given much thought. Unfortunately, if you or someone you love has diabetes you can’t afford to ignore these, the least noticed of our physiology. In fact, neglecting foot care in a diabetic can result in wounds, infections, even amputations and death.
The good news, however, is that prevention truly is the best medicine. A few simple precautions, taken regularly, can help to ensure that both you and your feet remain healthy.
- Check your feet everyday. For the flexibility-challenged among us, this may require using a hand-held mirror. You may even need to draft the help of an assistant. Whatever method you utilize, the important thing is to visualize every square inch of both feet, between every toe and behind each heel.
- Diabetic shoes are a valuable investment. Talk to your Livonia podiatrist about the possibility of Medicare coverage for this specially designed footwear. Before considering these, contemplate the fact that a small wound on a toe can lead to gangrene and an amputation. Suddenly going through the effort and expense of diabetic shoes doesn’t seem quite so extreme. A corollary of this would be to avoid walking barefoot.
- Notify your healthcare provider of any problems. Cuts, nicks, bruises, discoloration, and ingrown toenails quickly become life-threatening problems.
- Clean feet are healthy feet. Bacteria like warm, dark, and moist places. Therefore, aim to keep your feet clean, dry, and at as comfortable a temperature as possible. If you can comfortably reach your toenails, be sure to keep them well trimmed. If you have any problems or questions, feel free to ask your podiatrist or caregiver. It would be a good idea to have a daily diabetic foot care routine, in which you can incorporate cleaning and inspecting into a habit.
- Your feet need blood flow too. Put your feet up when at rest, which will also help to decrease any swelling. Wiggle your toes and pump your feet at random intervals throughout the day, particularly when you’ve been sitting for extended periods of time. Also, try to avoid crossing your legs and cutting off circulation.
- See a podiatrist. This is one of the most powerful preventative interventions for a diabetic’s foot care arsenal. An experienced and knowledgeable podiatrist can be your most trusted ally in the fight for health, from the ground up.
You only get one pair of feet, and they have to last a lifetime. By implementing a few simple strategies on a frequent and regular basis, by, in other words, supporting them, you can ensure that they’ll support you…for life. We are here to help: Call the Foot Health Team of Dr. Peter F. Gregory, D.P.M. at 734-522-7676.