When you have diabetes, it’s essential to look after your feet as you are more likely to develop foot problems. From keeping them well moisturised to performing daily checks, today we’re sharing top tips on how to keep your feet healthy.
But First, Why Does Diabetes Affect The Feet?
Diabetes is a lifelong condition that increases a person’s blood sugar level. There are two types: type 1 and type 2. According to the NHS, type 2 is far more common in the UK and is where the body does not produce enough insulin or the cells in the body do not react to insulin.
So how does this affect your feet? When you have diabetes, your feet’ blood flow is reduced, and therefore your feet are at a greater risk of developing problems. Plus, it can also it can take longer for injuries to heal.
5 Ways to Care For Your Feet With Diabetes:
1. Check Your Feet Every Day
With diabetes, foot problems can worsen quickly, so it’s best to keep an eye on them day-to-day. When you’re getting dressed in the morning or when you’re getting ready for bed at night, check them over and look for any changes. If you can’t lift your feet, take a look at them in a mirror or ask someone you live with for support.
2. Wear Shoes That Fit Well
Wearing shoes that fit well and do not rub, cause pain or soreness is an important step in keeping your feet healthy, with or without diabetes! If you do have diabetes, take your time choosing your shoes so you can get the very best out of them. Look for shoes with a deep, rounded toe, flat or low heeled, and a secure fastening method such as a buckle or laces. For extra comfort and relief on pressure points on the underside of your feet, you can try inner soles in your shoes – but be extra careful to ensure these fit correctly and are comfortable when you move around.
3. Understand Your Blood Sugars
Knowing and understanding your blood sugar levels can help you prevent, and manage, complications with diabetes. Your blood sugar levels will show you how much glucose you have in your blood, and those with diabetes may find these changes occur more often than those without the condition. Aim to keep your blood sugar levels balanced to help prevent damage arising in your feet.
4. Keep Your Feet Maintained & Moisturised
General maintenance of your feet will help keep your feet healthy and happy. Use a rich, emollient moisturiser to hydrate and add moisture to the skin but be careful not to apply it between your toes, as this can cause problems. Keep your toenails clipped regularly, and if you do have corns or hard patches of skin, then book an appointment with your podiatrist to have them removed.
5. If You Smoke, Seek Help to Stop
As we all know, smoking is bad for your health, whether you have diabetes or not. However, one of the side effects of smoking cigarettes is that it can impair blood circulation, reducing the blood flow to your legs and feet. If you have diabetes and smoke, take the first step in quitting today by viewing our Smoking Control products or speaking to a healthcare professional.
Looking after your feet daily can be tricky for some, so if you need additional support or help, always speak to your GP.