Did you know that diabetes threatens the health of your feet and ankles? If you're diabetic, you must manage your blood glucose and care for your feet every day. At Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists in Brandon, FL, podiatrists Dr. Brandi Johnson and Dr. Mark Leitner will help you with in-office exams and helpful education on diabetic foot health.
Why diabetes endangers your feet
Elevated blood sugars level threaten all your bodily systems--eyes, kidneys, heart and more. Also, they harm the littlest of things in your body--nerves and microcirculation.
Accordingly, people with either Type-1 or Type-2 diabetes suffer from peripheral neuropathy (loss of sensation) and impaired oxygenation and wound healing. Diabetics are prone to infection, too, because of the extra load their condition places on the immune system.
Both you and your podiatrist in Brandon must work together to protect your feet from serious complications leading to amputation, limited mobility and impaired function. In-office exams at Advanced Feet & Ankle Specialists reveal problems early, and your vigilance at home alerts both you and your doctor to issues such as:
- Changes in skin color, temperature, and texture
- Small wounds
- Deviations in your foot shape and function
- Thick, brittle toenails and ingrown nails
Daily foot care
The CDC and American Diabetes Association agree on several measures which, when practiced daily, decrease your risk for wounds, infections and amputations. These simple practices include:
- Look at your feet. Check for dark spots, areas of redness and friction and any breaks in the skin.
- Wash your feet with a mild soap and warm water. Dry them with a clean towel, particularly between the toes.
- Change your socks every day. Wear cotton (with no tight elastic around the tops) for good air circulation.
- Use a quality moisturizer on the skin. Do not put any moisturizer between your toes.
- Wear well-supporting shoes with non-irritating interior seams.
- Clip or file your nails straight across. Do not cut them too short or round the corners as these practices encourage ingrown toenails.
- Elevate your feet when you sit for long periods of time, and get up to move around periodically.
Long-term foot care
- See your podiatrist for an in-office check-up at least once a year.
- Stop smoking as tobacco usage impairs circulation.
- Manage your weight.
- Get daily aerobic exercise--walking, yoga, swimming, biking as examples.
- Eat healthy--with less fat, salt and sugar.
- Take your insulin and other diabetes medications as your primary care physician prescribes.
- Pay attention to your blood glucose levels and blood pressure.
Stay with the program
Good foot care pays off. Let the team at Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists support your at-home practices and deliver the finest in-office podiatric care in the Brandon, FL area. Call Dr. Johnson or Dr. Leitner with any questions you have: (813) 571-2977.