According to the latest numbers from the CDC, over 29 million Americans are living with Diabetes, and over a quarter of them don’t know it. When you have diabetes, you not only have to check your blood sugar and insulin levels. You also have to check your feet.
The combination of diabetes and high blood sugar can result in neuropathy, a loss of sensation, typically in the hands and feet. Which, in turn, can lead to situations in which the diabetic is unable to feel cuts, abrasions, calluses, and injuries to their feet. Especially for a diabetic, since they heal very slowly (due to poor circulation and a weakened immune system), unattended sores and calluses can fester, become infected and lead to amputations.
In addition to finding a good podiatrist and seeing them at least twice a year, there are certain things that anyone with diabetes needs to do on a daily basis.
- Wash your feet thoroughly
- Dry your feet thoroughly (between the toes)
- Apply moisturizer to your feet (not between the toes)
- Wear moisture resistant socks
- Never walk barefoot
- Check your feet for sores, cuts, blisters, corns and redness
- Notice if your feet are unusually hot or cold
- Wear shoes that fit well
- Put a hand in each shoe to make sure there is nothing inside
People should use these steps regardless of whether they have type I or type II diabetes. About 70 percent of people with diabetes will experience loss of feeling in their feet, and thousands have some or part of their feet amputated every year. If you're in doubt of something, have it checked out by a podiatrist. Don't wait until it gets too far gone. A podiatrist’s main concern is to keep you walking and active.