I’m Diabetic: Why Do I Need to Pay Special Attention to My Foot Care?

I’m Diabetic: Why Do I Need to Pay Special Attention to My Foot Care?

If you live with diabetes, your podiatrist has likely discussed the importance of taking excellent care of your feet. Diabetes complications make your feet vulnerable to certain problems, and if they progress, things can get very serious, very quickly. 

Since proper foot health monitoring and care is critical for those with diabetes, the caring provider team at Premier Foot & Ankle, with nine convenient Texas locations, prioritizes educating our diabetic patients about foot care and providing innovative treatment promptly for any problems that arise. 

You’re not alone in needing to be especially careful about foot care either, since diabetes affects over 37 million Americans. 

Diabetes: The basics

Diabetes is a chronic condition, impacting how your body transforms food into energy and causing glucose buildup in your bloodstream. Type 1 diabetes stems from an autoimmune reaction that prevents your body from making insulin. 

Only 5-10% of those with diabetes have type 1, and it’s usually diagnosed in children and teens. 

Type 1 diabetics must take insulin daily to survive, and there’s no known way to prevent it. 

With type 2 diabetes, your body uses insulin inefficiently and your blood sugar levels aren’t normal. Type 2 diabetes is commonly diagnosed in adults. The promising thing with type 2 diabetes is that eating well, getting sufficient exercise, and losing weight can often delay or prevent a diagnosis. 

Whether you’re diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you must be vigilant about your foot care.

How diabetes harms your feet 

If you have diabetes, there’s less blood flow to your feet. Your feet also make a reduced amount of oil and sweat as compared to someone who doesn’t have this condition. 

Diabetes can cause nerve damage in your feet. This is where serious problems originate because nerve damage affects sensation in your feet. You’re less aware or completely unaware of having a cut because you can’t feel it. 

Diabetes also suppresses your immune system, making foot injuries slower to heal. This is the beginning of a potentially vicious cycle. 

These factors put you at higher risk for a range of foot problems, including:

If an infection intensifies, it can put you at risk for sepsis, which is life-threatening. You can also get gangrene (tissue death from lack of blood flow and infection), which necessitates amputation of your toes or in worst-case scenarios, your entire foot. 

Proper foot care is critical for people with diabetes

Avoiding a frightening, life-altering situation like described above is why we emphasize the critical importance of taking good care of your feet. When you visit your Premier Foot & Ankle provider, they educate you about taking scrupulous care of your feet. 

What does proper foot care look like if you have diabetes? Follow these steps, in addition to coming in for regular checkups: 

Part of the care partnership we have with our patients who live with diabetes is that we perform detailed wound evaluations and treatment for any problems. 

Advanced treatment for diabetes-related foot problems 

If you have a foot injury, we offer treatment and ongoing support until it’s resolved. You may be prescribed antibiotics, as well as advanced wound care treatments, including regenerative platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy. This approach harnesses the power of your body’s own healing capabilities to hasten the healing of your foot injury. 

Shoe inserts, splints, and custom orthotics also have an important place in foot treatment. And we’re proud to offer some exciting testing and treatment options as well, including: 

We also perform surgical debridement (damaged tissue removal) and toe removal when necessary. 

There’s no doubt you’re in the most capable, compassionate hands at Premier Foot & Ankle. If you live with diabetes and need foot care and treatment, we’re with you for the long term.

Call our Premier Foot & Ankle office most convenient to you and schedule an appointment today, or use our convenient online booking tool anytime. 

You Might Also Enjoy...

Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Your Swollen Legs

When are swollen legs a serious problem? When they’re a symptom not of overdoing it with exercise, but of peripheral artery disease, or PAD. It’s an underdiagnosed, but serious condition that can quickly lead to severe complications. Learn more here.

What Problems Can Flat Feet Cause?

Flat feet, or fallen arches, can be unnoticeable, or they can cause pain and other complications. Learn about flat feet, advanced treatment, and how treatment can prevent further problems.

How Does Vascular Testing Work?

Peripheral artery disease, or PAD, develops when fatty plaque accumulates in your arteries, narrowing them and putting you at risk for serious conditions. Learn about testing that leads to diagnosis, treatments, and prevention strategies.

How Peripheral Artery Disease Is Diagnosed

Peripheral artery disease, or PAD, is a condition that causes pain and mobility problems and puts you at risk for heart attack and stroke. Learn about its symptoms, how it’s diagnosed, and why it’s critical to manage it.

What to Expect During Your Achilles Tendon Repair Surgery

Even though your Achilles tendon is sturdy, it’s vulnerable to overuse and injury. If conservative treatments don’t work, surgery may be required to get relief. Learn how to prepare for Achilles tendon repair surgery and what it entails here.