Diabetes Awareness During November
November is recognized by the American Diabetes Association as being “National Diabetes Month,” and this is a time of year to raise awareness of the disease and how it affects the numerous people whose lives are affected by it.
Diabetes and Your Foot Health
You may be aware diabetes raises your risk for kidney disease, heart attacks, strokes, and blindness, but did you realize the elevated blood sugar levels can also affect your feet in very serious ways?
- Constricted blood vessels lead to slower blood flow. Given that your feet are the farthest points on the body from your heart, blood already has the longest trip to get down there and back to the heart. With diabetes, it’s harder for blood to make the long voyage, which means tissues in the feet don’t receive the appropriate levels of nourishment they need to be strong and healthy.
- Your immune system is compromised. The disease impairs your body’s normal abilities to both fight off infections and heal wounds in a timely manner, both of which play a role in ulceration.
- Nerves do not report painful sensations to the brain. You rely on your nerves to feel if there’s a cut or other damage in your feet. Diabetes is linked to neuropathy (nerve damage) which means you may not be able to feel problems-and thereby take measures to resolve them.
What is Diabetic Foot Care?
When we talk about a diabetic foot care plan, we are generally referring to measures taken to both protect feet and catch issues at their earliest-and most treatable-stages. These measures include:
- Manage your blood sugar levels by adhering to a healthy dietary plan.
- Inspect your feet every day for potential problems.
- Wear quality socks and shoes approved by your podiatrist.
- Use your custom orthotics when prescribed by your podiatrist (to offload pressure from certain areas of your feet).
- Exercise on a regular basis with doctor-approved activities.
- See your podiatrist for regularly-scheduled foot checkups.
Remember prevention is the key!!
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