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Diabetes and Foot Problems

Can These Foot Problems Be Prevented?

Proper foot care can help prevent these common foot problems and/or treat them before they cause serious complications. Here are some tips for good foot care:

  1. Take care of yourself and your diabetes. Follow your health care provider's advice regarding nutrition, exercise, and medication. Keep your blood sugar level within the range recommended by your doctor.
  2. Wash your feet in warm water every day, using a mild soap. Test the temperature of the water with your elbow, because nerve damage can affect sensation in your hands, too. Do not soak your feet. Dry your feet well, especially between the toes.
  3. Check your feet every day for sores, blisters, redness, calluses, or any of the other problems listed above. If you have poor blood flow, it is especially important to do a daily foot check.
  4. If the skin on your feet is dry, keep it moist by applying lotion after you wash and dry your feet. Do not put lotion between your toes. Your doctor can tell you which type of lotion is best to use.
  5. Gently smooth corns and calluses with an emery board or pumice stone. Do this after your bath or shower, when your skin is soft. Move the emery board in only one direction.
  6. Check your toenails once a week. Trim your toenails with a nail clipper straight across. Do not round off the corners of toenails or cut down on the sides of the nails. After clipping, smooth the toenails with a nail file.
  7. Always wear closed-toed shoes or slippers. Do not wear sandals and do not walk barefoot, even around the house.
  8. Always wear socks or stockings. Wear socks or stockings that fit your feet well and have soft elastic.
  9. Wear shoes that fit well. Buy shoes made of canvas or leather and break them in slowly. Extra wide shoes are also available in specialty stores that will allow for more room for the foot for people with foot deformities.
  10. Always check the inside of shoes to make sure that no objects are left inside by mistake.
  11. Protect your feet from heat and cold. Wear shoes at the beach or on hot pavement. Wear socks at night if your feet get cold.
  12. Keep the blood flowing to your feet. Put your feet up when sitting, wiggle your toes and move your ankles several times a day, and don't cross your legs for long periods of time.
  13. If you smoke, stop. Smoking can make blood flow problems worse.
  14. If you have a foot problem that gets worse or won't heal, contact your doctor for advice and treatment.
  15. Make sure your diabetes doctor examines your feet during each check-up. An annual foot exam should be performed that includes an inspection of the skin, a check of the temperature of your feet, and an assessment of the sensation to the foot.
  16. See your podiatrist (foot doctor) every two to three months for check-ups, even if you don't have any foot problems.

WebMD Medical Reference

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If the level is below 70 and 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.

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