What Every Diabetic Should Know About Foot Care

Did you know that at least half of all people with diabetes have chronic and debilitating foot pain? People with diabetes are also more likely to develop problematic foot ulcers. The good news is that you can prevent diabetic foot issues and stop complications before they start by practicing good diabetic foot care.    

Board-certified podiatrist David J. Kaplan, DPM, and the experienced care team at FootCare Specialist, Inc. are committed to providing patients in San Mateo and Half Moon Bay, California, with the best in diabetic foot care — including preventive measures and wound care!

Read on to learn how diabetes impacts your feet and what you can do to keep them healthy. 

Why is foot care important for diabetics?

When your blood sugar (glucose) level stays high for long periods of time, it can damage your nerves and circulatory system — especially the nerve endings in your feet. This leads to serious health conditions, like neuropathy and peripheral vascular disease. These conditions increase your risk for more foot problems.

Since diabetics have more glucose circulating through their bodies than other people, there’s a higher risk of developing foot problems. In fact, the underlying cause of diabetic foot problems is uncontrolled blood sugar. 

What foot conditions can people with diabetes develop?

Not every diabetic develops debilitating foot conditions. Taking special care of your feet can go a long way toward preventing problems. When problems do develop, they are most often one of the following: 

Diabetic neuropathy

Diabetic neuropathy is a condition that involves nerve damage. This damage causes you to lose feeling and sensations in your feet. Because you can’t feel when your foot is injured or when a blister develops, your risk of these wounds becoming infected increases, putting you at risk for further complications, including gangrene and amputation. 

Peripheral vascular disease

When not under control, diabetes can cause damage to your circulatory system and blood vessels, resulting in peripheral vascular disease. When you have this condition, the blood vessels in your legs are blocked, preventing your feet from getting adequate blood. This causes any wounds or injuries on your feet to have trouble healing and increases the risk of infection.      

What can I do to avoid diabetic foot problems?

Fortunately, you can take steps to reduce your risk of developing diabetic foot problems and keep your feet healthy. Dr. Kaplan and the team at FootCare Specialist, Inc., can provide you with specific steps for your unique situation. 

For all diabetics, an important step to take for keeping your feet healthy is to control your blood sugar. Research shows that people with diabetes who manage their blood sugar well can prevent nerve damage. And for those who already have neuropathy, controlling blood sugar levels prevents it from progressing.  

Other steps you can take to ensure the best diabetic foot care include:

How can I improve my foot care?

Dr. Kaplan and the team at FootCare Specialist, Inc., are committed to improving the lives of people with diabetes through excellent diabetic foot care. By visiting Dr. Kaplan at least once each year for a preventive diabetic foot exam, you can address any issues early and prevent complications from developing. 

Dr. Kaplan may recommend more visits if you have any issues that require ongoing attention and care. If you develop any of the following symptoms before your next visit, schedule an exam right away:

If you have diabetes, learn more about caring for your feet by contacting Dr. Kaplan and the team at FootCare Specialist, Inc., or request an appointment online now!

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