Diabetes Complications: Feet
Watch for foot complications.
People with diabetes should pay extra attention to their
feet because of possible nerve damage or poor blood flow to the lower
extremities. Once the nerves have been damaged, someone might lose feeling in
their feet and not notice when they have injured their foot and this could lead
to an infection. It can take longer for an injury to heal when someone has
diabetes and this too contributes to the possibility for infection.
Experts recommend reducing or delaying complications such as
a loss of feeling in the feet by managing diabetes with a healthy diet, regular
exercise, controlling weight and blood pressure, and not smoking.
Even for those people who are making good choices to manage
this disease, it is recommended that they adopt some daily habits for healthy
If unable to do a daily self-exam of the feet, ask a loved one to check them. Look for any signs of injury such as cuts, blisters, swelling, ingrown toenails or extreme dryness on the tops and bottoms of the feet.
Wash feet with warm water every day, but do not soak them. Additional moisture can possibly lead to infection.
Ask a family member or a professional to safely trim toenails on a regular basis.
Wear different shoes as frequently as possible and choose comfortable socks and shoes.
Much like the warning to not soak the feet, avoid putting lotion between the toes so that there is no excess moisture that could lead to an infection.
The combination of reduced blood flow to the feet and
reduced sensation in the feet leads to increased risk for ulcers and infections
that can become severe. Complications from diabetes can lead to amputation of
the foot or leg.
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