When you have type 2 diabetes, it’s so important to practice good foot care. The long term complications of diabetes can cause neuropathy which causes numbness and tingling in your feet. Neuropathy is nerve damage. If you have a cut or sore on your foot, you may not be able to feel it. This can increase your risk for infections in your feet. Because there is decreased circulation with neuropathy, infections can be very difficult to treat. Gangrene is a very serious complication of infection. It causes the death of the infected tissue which can lead to amputation.
Preventing Foot Trouble
Years of wear and tear can be hard on our feet. So can:
- poor circulation
- improperly trimmed toenails
- wearing shoes that do not fit properly
Problems with our feet can be the first sign of more serious medical conditions such as:
Practice Good Foot Care
Check your feet regularly, or have a member of your family check them. Podiatrists and primary care doctors are qualified to treat most foot problems. Sometimes the special skills of an orthopedic surgeon or dermatologist are needed.
It also helps to keep blood circulating to your feet as much as possible. You can do this by:
- putting your feet up when you are sitting or lying down
- stretching if you’ve had to sit for a long while
- having a gentle foot massage
- taking a warm foot bath
Other Foot Care Tips
- Try to avoid pressure from shoes that do not fit right.
- Try not to expose your feet to cold temperatures.
- Do not sit for long periods of time (especially with your legs crossed).
- Do not smoke.
- Wearing comfortable shoes that fit well can prevent many foot ailments.
Proper Shoe Fit
Your heel should fit comfortably in the shoe with a minimum amount of slipping – the shoes should not ride up and down on your heel when you walk. Walk in the shoes to make sure they fit and feel right. Then take them home and spend some time walking on carpet to make sure the fit is a good one.
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