Did you know that more than 60% of all non-traumatic lower limb amputations are the result of complications from diabetes? The good news, however, is that you can reduce your risk of amputation by up to 85% and of other diabetes related foot problems as well by partnering with you podiatrist. November is National Diabetes Month and we at Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center want to help you prevent foot health issues commonly associated with diabetes.
Detecting Trouble Early
Neuropathy or nerve damage frequently affects patients with diabetes. Lack of feeling in your feet make it difficult to perceive pain, temperature changes and other signs that typically let your body know there’s a problem. As a result, sores and ulcers, calluses, infections and skin problems can all develop to a fairly serious level before being detected by the patient. One of the best steps you can take to prevent diabetic foot issues is to check your feet daily (or have someone do for you) for injuries or changes. Here’s what to look for:
- Changes in skin color
- Temperature changes
- Swelling of your ankle or foot
- Bruises, sores, cuts or red spots
- Dry skin, cracks in the heel or skin
- Corns, calluses and blisters
- Toenail changes—including discoloration, thickening, becoming ingrown
Avoiding Foot Issues
There are a number of ways to prevent diabetic foot problems from developing:
Visit Your Podiatrist–Diabetic patients should have two regularly scheduled exams annually with one of our board certified foot and ankle surgeons, Dr. Victoria Foley and Dr. Constance Omelas to check the health of your feet. In addition, if you notice any of the changes listed above, you should make an appointment immediately.
Wear Properly Fitted Shoes–It’s essential that shoes have a roomy toe box and enough room to prevent cramping and also so that no rubbing or friction against the skin occurs.
Don’t go Barefoot–Even at home, the risk of cuts, injuries and infections are too great.
Exercise–A moderate exercise program (approved by your physician) will help improve blood flow to the feet as well as control blood sugar and weight—all key for managing diabetes.
If you have more questions on diabetic foot care, don’t hesitate to contact our Long Beach office at: 562-420-9800.