Why Diabetics Should Pay Extra Attention to Their Foot Care

Nov 02, 2023
Why Diabetics Should Pay Extra Attention to Their Foot Care
While foot care is always important, having diabetes ups the ante. Read on to learn how diabetes affects your feet and how to keep them healthy long term.

More than 1 in 10 people in the United States have diabetes, making it very common. While diabetes is both serious and chronic, effective care can help you thrive while managing it. And that care should definitely include your feet — especially if you hope to prevent diabetes complications.

At Mayfair Foot Care in Commack, New York, Drs. Edward Buro, Christine Peterson, and Rosario Saccomanno specialize in diabetes foot care to keep your feet and toes healthy long term.

Let’s delve into diabetes and your feet, including related health issues and smart ways to avoid or manage them.

How diabetes affects your feet

Diabetes affects your ability to use or produce the hormone insulin, which leads to increased blood sugar — or glucose — levels. If left untreated or poorly managed, high blood sugar can damage nerves throughout your body and your feet. It can also interfere with normal circulation, reducing healthy blood flow to your ankles and feet.

Diabetes foot issues

Nerve damage and circulation problems associated with diabetes can affect your feet in a range of ways, with varying degrees of severity. 

Diabetes-related foot symptoms you may be prone to include:

  • Skin discoloration
  • Reduced ability to sense cold or hot 
  • Loss of foot hair
  • Toenail changes
  • Foot pain
  • Redness and swelling
  • Wounds that don’t heal (diabetic ulcers

Up to half of people with diabetes develop peripheral neuropathy, or chronic nerve damage that affects your extremities. Related numbness can make it difficult to notice a cut on your foot, making you more vulnerable to infection. If a diabetic foot ulcer goes untreated, you risk amputation.

How to care for your diabetic feet

Following your diabetes treatment plan and taking care of your feet can go a long way toward keeping your feet healthy and staving off complications. 

Steps we recommend for protecting your feet while living with diabetes include:

  • Examining your feet daily for changes
  • Keeping your toenails trimmed (straight across) and filed
  • Seeing your podiatrist at least once a year
  • Smoothing out calluses and corns
  • Wearing socks and supportive shoes, including in the house
  • Washing your feet well daily

Exercising regularly can also benefit your diabetic feet by improving blood flow. In addition to any medication you need, eating a nutritious, balanced diet helps, too, by improving your blood sugar levels. The same goes for maintaining positive sleep habits and managing stress.

To learn more about diabetes and foot health or get started with the care you need, call Mayfair Foot Care or schedule an appointment using our online booking feature today.