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All Posts in Category: Diabetes

Man with Diabetes checking his feet

Diabetic Foot Care Tips

12 STEPS TO HEALTHIER, HAPPIER FEET

Foot problems associated with diabetes are a signifcant portion of the health risk and cost. Here are 12 steps to healthier, happier feet!

Take care of your diabetes

Make healthy lifestyle choices to keep your blood glucose (sugar), blood pressure and cholesterol close to normal. Doing so may help prevent or delay diabetes-related foot problems.

Check your feet every day

You may have serious foot problems without feeling pain. Check your feet for cuts, sores, swelling and infected toenails every day.

Wash your feet every day

Wash your feet in warm water. Do not soak your feet because your skin will get dry. When you’re done, dry well, especially between your toes. Use talcum powder or cornstarch to keep the skin between your toes dry.

Keep your skin soft & smooth

Rub a thin coat of skin lotion or cream on the tops and bottoms of your feet. Do not moisturize between your toes, as this could trap moisture and lead to further skin problems.

Smooth corns & calluses gently

If you have corns or calluses, check with your doctor or podiatrist about the best way to care for them. If they tell you to, use a pumice stone to smooth corns and calluses after bathing. Rub gently in only one direction to avoid tearing the skin.

Trim your toenails each week

Trim your toenails with clippers after you wash and dry your feet. Trim toenails straight across and smooth them with an emery board or nail file. Don’t cut the corners of the toenails. You may ask your podiatrist to trim your toenails.

Wear shoes & socks at all times

Do not walk barefoot, even indoors, because it’s easy to step on something and hurt your feet. Always wear socks, stockings or nylons with your shoes to help avoid blisters and sores. Choose clean, lightly padded socks that fit well.

Protect your feet from hot & cold

Wear shoes at the beach or on hot pavement, and put sunscreen on the top of your feet to prevent sunburn. Wear socks at night if your feet are cold. Be sure to wear warm shoes or boots in cold weather

Keep the blood flowing to your feet

• Put your feet up when you’re sitting
• Wiggle your toes for five minutes two or three times per day
• Don’t cross your legs for long periods of time
• Don’t smoke. Smoking reduces blood flow to your feet
• Work with your health care team to control your diabetes

Be more active

Ask your doctor to help you plan a daily activity program that’s right for you. Walking, dancing, swimming and bicycling are good forms of exercise that are easy on the feet. Always include a warm-up and cool-down period, and wear athletic shoes that fit well and provide good support.

Be sure to ask your doctor

• Check the sense of feeling and pulses in your feet annually
• Tell you if you’re likely to have foot problems
• Show you how to care for your feet
• Refer you to a good podiatrist
• Decide if special shoes would help your feet stay healthy

Get started now

Begin taking good care of your feet today. Set a time every day to check your feet. Note the date of your next visit to the doctor. Most importantly, stick to your foot care program.

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Diabetic Foot Care

Foot Care Tips For Diabetics

If you have diabetes, follow these foot care tips:

  • Inspect feet daily. Check your feet and toes every day for cuts, bruises, sores, or changes to the toenails, such as thickening or discoloration.
  • Wear thick, soft socks. Avoid socks with seams, which could rub and cause blisters or other skin injuries.
  • Exercise. Walking can keep weight down and improve circulation. Be sure to wear appropriate athletic shoes when exercising.
  • Have new shoes properly measured and fitted. Foot size and shape may change over time. Shoes that fit properly are important to those with diabetes.
  • Don’t go barefoot. Don’t go without shoes, even in your own home. The risk of cuts and infection is too great for those with diabetes.
  • Never try to remove calluses, corns, or warts by yourself. Over-the-counter products can burn the skin and cause irreparable damage to the foot for people with diabetes.
  • See one of the doctors at The Foot And Ankle Center. Regular checkups by a podiatrist—at least annually—are the best way to ensure that your feet remain healthy.
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Common Foot Pains

Simple steps that help people with diabetes keep their feet healthy

A diabetes diagnosis can be daunting, but a simple attitude adjustment can make a world of difference in how well you fare while living with the disease. When people with diabetes take proactive steps to monitor key health indicators, experts agree that it’s possible to prevent some of the most severe risks of diabetes, including lower limb amputation.

People ages 20 and older who are living with diabetes account for about 60 percent of non-traumatic lower-limb amputations, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) 2014 National Diabetes Statistics Report.

“The CDC says the occurrence of diabetes-related foot and lower-leg amputation has decreased by 65 percent since 1996,” says Catherine Hudson, DPM, a podiatrist at Foot and Ankle Center and member of the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). “Working together, podiatrists and their patients with diabetes can reduce the number of amputations even more.”

People with diabetes may be less aware of cuts or wounds on their feet due to the nerve damage related to their disease, Dr. Hudson points out. “Regular and vigilant foot care can help catch problems before they develop into a health crisis.”

APMA offers advice to help people with diabetes protect their foot health:

  • Inspect your feet daily, checking the entire foot and all 10 toes for cuts, bruises, sores, or changes to the toenails, such as thickening or discoloration. Treat wounds immediately and see your podiatrist if a problem persists or infection is apparent.
  • Exercise by walking, which can help you maintain a healthy weight and improve circulation. Be sure to wear athletic shoes appropriate for the type of exercise you’re doing.
  • When you buy new shoes, have them properly measured and fitted. Foot size and shape can change over time, and ill-fitting shoes are a leading cause of foot pain and lesions. Certain types of shoes, socks, and custom orthotics are available for people with diabetes, and they may be covered under Medicare. You can find a list of podiatrist-approved footwear and products for people with diabetes on the APMA website, www.apma.org.
  • Keep your feet covered and never go barefoot, even at home. The risk of cuts and infection is too great.
  • See a podiatrist to remove calluses, corns, or warts—don’t tackle them yourself, and don’t ask an unlicensed nonprofessional to do it. Over-the-counter products can burn your skin and injure your foot. Podiatrists are specially trained to address all aspects of foot health for people with diabetes.
  • Get checkups twice a year. An exam by your podiatrist is the best way to ensure your feet stay healthy.

“For people with diabetes, taking charge of your own foot health can help you avoid foot-related complications like amputation,” Dr. Hudson says. “Working with today’s podiatrist will help you safeguard your foot health.”

Catherine Hudson, DPM is a podiatrist at Foot and Ankle Center in Marrero, LA.  Call 504-349-6633 or visit http://www.footandanklenola.com/contact to make an appointment. Visit www.apma.org to learn more about foot health and care.

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Diabetes Awareness Month

November is Diabetes Awareness Month

Diabetes Awareness Month (November 1–30) provides Foot and Ankle Center the opportunity to help educate the public about a podiatrist’s critical role on the diabetes management team, and the ways in which patients with diabetes can take simple steps to prevent foot complications, such as vascular disease. Join us in supporting APMA’s new “Diabetes: A Path to Poor Circulation?” campaign.

See the Full Campaign Poster here.

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diabetes doctor new orleans

Diabetes and Your Feet FAQs

Why should I “knock my socks off” and see a podiatrist?
The feet can reveal diabetes warning signs such as numbness, redness, swelling, or non-healing wounds. Making at least two appointments a year with today’s podiatrist, the foot and ankle expert, to have your feet examined is a critical step in avoiding diabetic foot complications and amputation.

I have been diagnosed with diabetes. What foot complications could I experience?
A loss of feeling in your feet
Foot ulcers or sores that do not heal
Amputation

Should I talk about diabetes with my community, family, and friends?
Yes! Those with diabetes, as well as those who are at risk, are encouraged to openly discuss the disease with family members because it can affect children and adults alike. Diabetes is often passed down from generation to generation, especially in the Hispanic community. Don’t be embarrassed to talk about it with those closest to you because diabetes is best managed as a team.

What are diabetic ulcers, and how can I prevent them?
Diabetic ulcerations are often one of the first signs of complications from diabetes in the lower leg. These ulcers can stem from a small wound or cut on the foot that is slow to heal. If left untreated, ulcers can become harder to treat and could lead to amputation. If discovered early and treated by a podiatrist, ulcers may not lead to amputation.

Can I still see a podiatrist if I don’t have medical insurance?
Yes! Podiatrists work in health clinics, in addition to private practices, treating patients. Work directly with your podiatrist to create alternative options such as payment plans. Don’t let a lack of insurance keep you from receiving proper foot care.

Is there a special kind of footwear available for those with diabetes?
Yes! Certain types of shoes, socks, and custom orthotics are all created especially for those with diabetes. People with diabetes should never go barefoot and should make sure to keep feet protected to reduce the risk of cuts and scrapes on the feet, which can lead to complications. Medicare may pay for these shoes. Find diabetic footwear that has APMA’s Seal of Acceptance.

PDF Available For Download Here.

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