Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Let's talk about feet

As part of Diabetes Awareness Month, I'm going to talk about feet.  Yup feet.

We all know someone, somewhere, whose friends,  cousins, uncle's brother lost a toe or perhaps a food because of being a "bad diabetic".

But seriously, it is important to look after your feet.
We should check our feet every day for any changes or signs of injury.

The following are recommendations from the Canadian Diabetes Association.  

Tips for Caring for your feet:
  • look for signs of redness or blisters on your feet
  • wash your feet daily.  dry well, especially between your toes.  apply a moisturizer to your feet but NOT between your toes.
  • do NOT soak your feet
  • if you cant reach your feet for whatever reason, or you do not have feeling in your feet or toes, have a healthcare professional trim your toenails for you
  • have a healthcare professional check your feet at least 1-2 times a year or more if necessary
  • check every day for changes or signs of injury to your feet.  any change is important so you see your doctor or podiatrist right away.

About Your Shoes:
  • make sure you shake out your shoes before you put them on
  • wear shoes all the time, indoors and out
  • change your socks every day
  • it is recommended by the Canadian Diabetes Assoc. to buy shoes with closed toes as they protect your feet from injury
  • at the very least make sure to buy your shoes late in the day, as everyone's feet tend to swell a bit during the day

Generally, if you have good blood glucose levels, exercise daily, and see your doctor right away if you notice any changes at all, you should be able to avoid any complications for a long time.  

I know with all the other things we have going on in our lives, our feet are probably the last thing on our minds.  Take it from me, try to take a few minutes and do a foot check every day.  

Back in 2004, I cut my toe.  It was taking a long time to heal, and was becoming infected.  It didn't take long before my lower calf and ankle were beginning to swell. The toe was inflammed and hot to touch.  I ended up in the hospital with cellulitis, a not very nice infection Diabetics are more susceptible to cellulitis than the general population because of impairment of the immune system. We are especially prone to cellulitis in the feet, because as we all know, the disease causes impairment of blood circulation in the legs. This can lead to foot ulcers. Poor control of blood glucose levels allows bacteria to grow more rapidly in the affected tissue, and facilitates rapid progression if the infection enters the bloodstream.
not my leg, but you get the picture

So what about you, do you check you feet every day? 


1 comment:

  1. Our regular doctors' office has signs in every exam room saying, "If you have diabetes, please remove your shoes and socks."
    They look at 'em every time.