If you have diabetes, you’re likely already used to closely monitoring your health. But what you may not know is that proper foot care is equally important. In fact, foot care issues are common complications of diabetes. Because the condition can affect blood supply, you could face potential nerve damage and lose feeling in your feet. This lack of sensitivity may mean you don’t notice small cuts or blisters right away, which could cause ulcers if not treated.
Drs. Kyle Durfey and Brian Hiapo are experienced podiatrists located in Laveen, Arizona, who can not only inspect your feet, but help you detect issues early to prevent problems down the road.
If you look at your feet right now, you may not see any cuts or blisters, or be aware of poor circulation. So how can you know what warning signs to look for?
If you do happen to get any cuts or blisters, watch their healing progress. If they don’t heal within a week, that could be concerning. You should also pay attention to pain or cramps in the backs of your legs as you walk — another sign of poor blood circulation. Watch for redness in the feet that doesn’t go away.
When washing your feet, make sure to dry them thoroughly and keep dry skin well moisturized. Drs. Durfey and Hiapo can recommend some reliable brands.
You can lower your risk of health problems by changing some of your lifestyle habits. Because circulation problems occur when the arteries become hardened or narrowed, you’ll want to watch your glucose levels to make sure they don’t get too high. If you’re a smoker, consider quitting, as this is one of the main ways to clog your blood stream even in people without diabetes.
You can also control the fat levels in your blood by exercising regularly, for at least 30 minutes at a time. If you don’t have access to a gym, walking briskly around your neighborhood will help keep your blood flowing.
All people with diabetes should have their feet inspected at least once a year. If you would like to learn more about why diabetics need foot specialists, or address any concerns you may have, you can schedule a consultation by calling (602) 536-5149. You can also book an appointment online. We look forward to hearing from you.