Literally millions of Americans live with diabetes—and a significant number of them don’t even know yet. It’s a serious disease that can turn lives upside down. It dramatically increases your risk for strokes, eyesight problems, heart attacks, kidney diseases, and of course, limb amputations. This last risk is particularly high for anyone who doesn’t take care of his or her feet. The good news for you is that you can prevent diabetic foot issues and stay healthy.
Diabetic foot issues develop pretty easily. Between circulation trouble and nerve damage, your feet are extremely vulnerable to painful and potentially serious complications. This doesn’t means you should give up being active or resign yourself to dealing with dangerous foot problems your whole life. You can keep up with your activities and still have healthy feet as long as you take care of your lower limbs. Here are five tips to help you avoid diabetic foot issues:
- Wear the Right Shoes – You should never go barefoot, but wearing just any old shoe isn’t good for you either. Make sure your footwear fits, cushions your soles, supports your arches, and doesn’t squeeze or rub your toes.
- Inspect Your Feet Daily – Look for cuts, sores, bruises, calluses, toenail changes, or anything that might signal a problem.
- Get Regular Check-Ups – Have a full exam every year at the least. If you notice any changes or pain in your lower limbs before then, get an appointment right away.
- Exercise Regularly – Exercise improves blood flow to your feet and builds strength, both of which are important for limb health.
- Keep Skin Healthy – Your skin is your first defense against infections. Moisturize your skin and work to prevent calluses or blisters.