Prevention is key to reduce the risk of foot complications for those with type 1 diabetes. As a multi-system disorder, diabetes is frequently associated with other conditions, such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Together, these conditions can contribute to poor circulation throughout the body, particularly to the feet – resulting in serious foot complications.
Please see below for some tips & tricks on how to prevent foot complications:
Get regular foot exams — Regular checkups by a Chiropodist, at least annually – are the best way to ensure that your feet remain healthy. Our LMC Chiropodists have the ability to test the nerves and circulation of your feet to determine an appropriate foot care management plan which will keep your feet happy & healthy. At LMC we also provide other foot care necessities such as custom-made orthotics, compression stockings, and shoe education, all of which will improve your foot health.
Importance of blood sugar management — In general, you can reduce your risk of diabetes-related complications by keeping your blood sugar levels as close to your target as possible. Careful management of blood sugar levels can reduce the risk of circulation problems and nerve damage that often lead to diabetic foot complications.
Quit smoking — Smoking can worsen heart and vascular problems and reduce circulation to the feet. If you smoke, quitting is one of the most important things you can do to improve your health and reduce your risk of complications.
Use care when trimming the nails — Most individual’s need their toenails cut every 4-8 weeks. When cutting, please make sure you are not trimming too close to your nail bed. Seek the help of an LMC Chiropodist if you have trouble doing this on your own.
Wash and check your feet daily — Use lukewarm water and mild soap to clean your feet. Finish by thoroughly drying your feet, and applying a moisturizing cream. Avoid moisturizing in-between your toes, which can significantly increase the risk of bacterial and fungal infections. Check the entire surface of both feet for any open wounds, blisters, swelling, or redness. Be sure to seek the care of a foot specialist, such as an LMC Chiropodist, right away if you notice any changes or problems on your feet.
Choose socks and shoes carefully — Wear cotton socks that fit loosely, and be sure to change your socks each day. Select shoes that are snug but not tight, with a wide toe box, and break new shoes in gradually to prevent any blisters. If you have foot deformities or ulcers, ask your LMC Chiropodist about customized orthotics and shoes. These devices help cushion your step and decrease pressure on the soles of your feet.
Your feet are important to your overall health. If you take care of your feet, your body will thank you.
Chiropody in-clinic appointments are available at the following LMC locations: