Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Diabetes Health Center

Font Size

Taking Care of Your Feet for a Lifetime

You Can Take Care of Your Feet!

Do you want to avoid serious foot problems that can lead to a toe, foot, or leg amputation? Take Care of Your Feet for a Lifetime tells you how. It's all about taking good care of your feet.

Foot care is very important for people with diabetes who have:

  • Loss of feeling in their feet.
  • Changes in the shape of their feet.
  • Foot ulcers or sores that do not heal.

Nerve damage can cause you to lose feeling in your feet. You may not feel a pebble inside your sock that is causing a sore. You may not feel a blister caused by poorly fitting shoes. Foot injuries such as these can cause ulcers which may lead to amputation.

Keeping your blood sugar (glucose) in good control and taking care of your feet every day can help you avoid serious foot problems.

Use this guide to make your own plan for taking care of your feet. Helpful tips make it easy! Share your plan with your doctor and health care team and get their help when you need it.

There is a lot you can do to prevent serious problems with your feet. Here's how.

1. Take Care of Your Diabetes

Make healthy lifestyle choices to help keep your blood sugar close to normal. Keeping your blood sugar under good control may help prevent or delay diabetes-related foot problems as well as eye and kidney disease.

Work with your health care team to make a diabetes plan that fits your lifestyle. The team may include: your doctor, a diabetes educator, a nurse, a dietitian, a foot care doctor called a podiatrist (pah-di'ah-trist), and other specialists. This team will help you to:

  • Know how and when to test your blood sugar.
  • Take prescribed medicines.
  • Eat regular meals that contain a variety of healthy, low-fat, high-fiber foods including fruits and vegetables each day.
  • Increase your physical activity each day.
  • Follow your foot care plan.
  • Keep your doctor's appointments and have your feet, eyes, and kidneys checked at least once a year.

2. Check Your Feet Every Day

You may have serious foot problems, but feel no pain. Check your feet for cuts, sores, red spots, swelling, and infected toenails. Find a time (evening is best) to check your feet each day. Make checking your feet part of your every day routine.

If you have trouble bending over to see your feet, use a plastic mirror to help. You also can ask a family member or care giver to help you.

Make sure to call your doctor right away if a cut, sore, blister, or bruise on your foot does not begin to heal after one day.

WebMD Public Information from the U.S. National Institutes of Health

Is This Normal? Get the Facts Fast!

Check Your Blood Sugar Level Now
What type of diabetes do you have?
Your gender:

Get the latest Diabetes newsletter delivered to your inbox!


or
Answer:
Low
0-69
Normal
70-130
High
131+

Your level is currently

If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Did You Know Your Lifestyle Choices
Affect Your Blood Sugar?

Use the Blood Glucose Tracker to monitor
how well you manage your blood sugar over time.

Get Started

This tool is not intended for women who are pregnant.

Start Over

Step:  of 

Today on WebMD

Diabetic tools
Symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and more.
woman flexing muscles
10 strength training exercises.
 
Blood sugar test
12 practical tips.
Tom Hanks
Stars living with type 1 or type 2.
 
Woman serving fast food from window
Video
Can Vinegar Treat Diabetes
Video
 
Middle aged person
Tool
are battery operated toothbrushes really better
Video
 

Prediabetes How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Article
type 2 diabetes
Slideshow
 
food fitness planner
Tool
Are You at Risk for Dupuytrens Contracture
Article