Did you know that 29.1 million people in the U.S. have diabetes? That’s 12.3 percent of American adults. If you have diabetes, in addition to checking your blood sugar, there’s something else you need to check regularly – your feet.
It may sound strange, but diabetes can actually make you more likely to incur blisters, sores or wounds on the feet that go unnoticed. For Foot Health Awareness Month this April, we remind people with diabetes to check their feet daily for sores or other injures.
People with diabetes are prone to foot injuries for two reasons.
- Diabetes can cause nerve damage that makes it harder to feel pain in the feet
- People living with diabetes have a poor defense against infection and damage to blood circulation, which can cause problems with the feet
A foot sore or cut that goes unnoticed can become more serious over time, eventually leading to limb amputation if the wound goes untreated. In fact, wounds caused by diabetes account for 60 percent of the 73,000 non-traumatic wound amputations annually in the U.S.
Protect Your Feet
The good news is that people with diabetes can take action to protect their feet. And that’s important because the average person takes 10,000 steps a day, adding up to more than 3 million steps per year!
Naomi Oliker, director of the Advanced Center for Wound Care & Hyperbaric Medicine at Adventist HealthCare White Oak Medical Center, recommends the following foot care steps if you’re living with diabetes.
- Check your feet for sores or other injuries daily.
- Wash your feet every day and dry them with care, especially between toes.
- Trim your toenails as needed after you’ve washed and dried your feet.
- Wear properly fitting shoes that do not rub or pinch your feet.
- Always wear socks or stockings with your shoes, and never walk barefoot or wearing only socks.
- Consult your physician to see how much physical activity is right for you.
For more information about proper foot care, diabetic foot ulcers or how we may be able to help avoid amputation, sign up for a FREE phone consultation with the Adventist HealthCare Centers for Advanced Wound Care & Hyperbaric Medicine.
Source: Healogics, Inc.