May 19, 2022
Diabetic Foot Pain and Soreness Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment
It’s important to know how diabetes and foot care are interlinked. Learn how to help prevent foot problems that can come with diabetes
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People with diabetes need to do all kinds of things while managing their condition. Most people who have diabetes understand why it’s crucial to make dietary changes, get physical activity, and take other steps to keep this disease under control. But have you thought about the role foot care plays in diabetes management?
While it may sound strange, foot problems are common in people with diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, one in every five times a person with diabetes visits the hospital, the issue in question is related to their feet. To help you reduce your risk of these problems, US MED has put together all the information you need on diabetes and foot care.
Neuropathy: The Link Between Diabetes and Foot Problems
Are you wondering why foot problems are seen so often in people with diabetes? These conditions are a result of an all-too-common diabetes complication called “diabetic neuropathy.” Put simply, that condition is a type of nerve damage caused by high blood sugar levels.
About 50 percent of people with diabetes also have some form of neuropathy. While this form of nerve damage can affect all kinds of body parts, it is closely associated with numbness in the legs and feet. And even though not feeling pain may sound like a plus, it can make it much harder to notice issues like sores, cuts, and blisters. Left untreated, these can lead to severe complications of their own.
Are You At Risk of Nerve Damage?
Any form of diabetes comes with an increased likelihood of nerve damage. However, some people with diabetes are more likely to experience this complication than others. That’s especially true for people who:
- Are having trouble controlling their blood sugar
- Have had diabetes for an extended period
- Are 40+ years old
- Are overweight
- Have high blood pressure or cholesterol
Easy Ways to Avoid Nerve Damage
Like other diabetes complications, there are ways to reduce your chances of dealing with nerve damage:
- Eat a healthy diet consisting of lots of fruits and vegetables
- Avoid excess sugar and salt
- Get physically active throughout the week
- Take the medications that you have been prescribed
- Try to quit smoking if you currently smoke
Diabetic Foot Care Tips
When you’re dealing with neuropathy, even a minor cut could result in the need for amputation if you aren’t careful. Fortunately, taking care of your feet while living with diabetes involves following a few simple steps.
Inspect Your Feet Every Day
As part of your daily diabetes maintenance routine, take a few minutes to look at your feet. Be on the lookout for nail problems, cuts, blisters, or unusual redness. If you notice any of these issues, call your doctor. You can also place a mirror on the floor and use it to check the bottoms of your feet.
Take Time to Clean Your Feet
Cleaning your feet every day is another excellent way to keep them healthy. Gently wash your feet with a washcloth or sponge, using lukewarm – not hot – water. When you’re done, dry your feet carefully with a towel.
Keep Up on Skin and Nail Maintenance
Using a moisturizer can help prevent skin cracks on your feet, but don’t use these products between your toes. You should also see a podiatrist to cut your toenails as needed, they will make sure not to cut them too short. If you notice calluses or corns, avoid treating them yourself – instead, let your healthcare team know.
Wear Shoes and Socks
Don’t walk barefoot if you have diabetes – even in your own home. Instead, wear dry and clean socks, especially socks designed especially for people with diabetes. Before you go outside, be sure to check your shoes for foreign objects before putting them on.
When Should You Talk to Your Healthcare Team?
While you can discuss some foot problems with your healthcare team at your next regular appointment, some issues need to be addressed immediately. If you notice any of these foot-related symptoms, let a medical professional know as soon as possible:
- Blisters, ingrown toenails, sores, infected corns, or ulcers
- Fungal infections between toes
- Thick, yellow-tinged toenails
- Changes in foot color/temperature
- Dry or cracked skin on feet
- Loss of hair on lower extremities
- Gradual changes in the shape of your feet
- Reduced ability to feel touch or temperature
- “Tingling” or “burning” sensations
- Leg pain or cramps in your thighs, calves, or buttocks while exercising
Manage Your Diabetes Symptoms With Help from US MED
Like any aspect of diabetes management, taking good care of your feet can be a challenge. However, this process plays an indispensable role in protecting your health. We hope that the knowledge shared in this article can make your foot care routine easier and more effective than ever!
While you can’t take shortcuts for foot care, you can simplify other parts of living with diabetes. For example, choosing a reliable diabetes supply company like US MED could help you save time ordering the supplies you need. To start reaping the benefits of our free shipping and 100-percent satisfaction guarantee, take a few minutes to explore our online shop!