A few health conditions can completely change your life. They force you to adjust your activities, your diet, your habits, and so forth so you can continue to enjoy and live your life. Diabetes is one of these—and it has an enormous effect on your feet as well as your health overall. It doesn’t mean you have to put your life on hold or give up the activities you love, though. Managing diabetes helps you stay healthy as well as active and avoid foot complications from the disease.
Why Diabetes Management Matters
Diabetes is a systemic disease that negatively affects your circulation and your nerve functions. This can have some pretty wide-ranging consequences throughout your body, particularly in the feet. When you have diabetes, your lower limbs develop a high risk for chronic pain, skin ulcers, dangerous infections, and even complications requiring limb amputations. This is because nerve damage in your lower limbs makes it more likely that you’ll injure a foot without realizing it. At the same time, the poor circulation weakens your immune system and makes it much harder for your feet to recover when they experience problems.
To prevent the many complications that can arise as a result of all this, you need excellent diabetes management. This means taking special measures to protect your feet as well as working to improve your health overall.
Working with Your Health Team
Since diabetes affects the whole body, you’ll need lower limb specialists like Dr. Cynthia Oberholtzer-Classen and our team, who can work with your whole health team to truly take care of your feet. You might need to make some dietary changes or take medication to help moderate your blood sugar levels. Most importantly, though, you’ll need regular check-ups to make sure your lower limbs are healthy and not deteriorating. This means a complete exam at least once a year. You may need regular appointments more often if you already struggle with diabetic complications, like peripheral neuropathy. These could range from medical pedicures to keep your toenails trimmed to wound care to repair ulcer damage.
Management at Home
The “front line” for diabetes management really is home care. In your home and daily life is where and when you’re most likely to develop problems from diabetes. Managing the condition and your foot health there makes a huge difference for keeping your lower limbs safe. Our team at Podiatry Associates, P.C. will help you learn how to best take care of your feet at home.
You’ll need to perform daily foot checks. This means carefully inspecting your feet for small injuries or changes that could deteriorate into wounds or infections. You’ll need to keep your skin moisturized and your nails trimmed appropriately as well. Your shoe choice is a crucial one; stick to styles that are cushioned, supportive, and don’t squeeze or rub. Never walk barefoot. If you do notice any kind of change in your lower limbs, don’t wait—get immediate help to treat it.It does take time and effort to manage your diabetes well, but it is always worth it. You do not have to suffer with foot pain or resign yourself to living with immobilizing complications or deformities. Instead, invest in your foot health when you have diabetes. The experts at Podiatry Associates, P.C. will work as a part of your health team every step of the way. Contact us through our website for more information. You can also call our Parker or Castle Pines, CO, offices at (303) 805-5156 for an appointment.