When you have diabetes, taking good care of your feet is very important. Poor foot care can lead to serious problems, including possibly having to remove -- or amputate -- the foot or leg.
As a person with diabetes, you are more vulnerable to foot problems because the disease can damage your nerves and reduce blood flow to your feet. The American Diabetes Association has estimated that one in five people with diabetes who seek hospital care do so for foot problems. By taking proper care of your feet, most serious problems can be prevented. It's important that your doctor check your feet at least once a year for any problems.
Some people with diabetes and the nerve pain -- or peripheral neuropathy that comes with it -- find relief in surprisingly simple ways. Sometimes a nice, warm (but not hot) bath is enough to relieve stress and nerve pain. If you have neuropathy, by the way, you might want to have someone else test the water to make sure it's not too hot. A massage can also help. Other people turn to biofeedback, meditation, relaxation techniques, or hypnosis -- all of which have been proven to help.