Preventing Diabetic Foot Problems

If you have diabetes, it’s crucial to understand how the condition can impact your feet. About 50% of diabetics experience foot problems related to diabetes. These problems are typically the result of nerve damage, poor circulation, and skin troubles. Once these problems appear they can be difficult to treat and lead to more serious issues and complications, such as infection and even amputation.

At Anderson Foot & Ankle Clinic in Salt Lake City, Utah, Mikol Anderson, DPM, our team of experienced podiatrists knows prevention is often the best medicine. This is especially true when it comes to caring for your diabetic feet. Diabetic foot care is essential to preventing severe conditions and complications, like slow-healing wounds and diabetic neuropathy. 

Our team has put together this guide to better understand the cause of diabetic foot problems and the steps you can to prevent them.

What are diabetic foot problems?

If you have diabetes, you’re at an increased risk of developing problems with your feet. This is because diabetes is linked to poor circulation, skin issues, and nerve damage. In fact, the damage poorly managed diabetes can cause to your peripheral nerves is so common in patients with diabetes; it’s frequently referred to as diabetic neuropathy

Neuropathy creates numbness and loss of sensitivity in your extremities — especially your feet. The result? You lose the ability to feel cuts, blisters, and sores on your feet. This increases the risk of bacteria entering the wounds and causing an infection. 

These infected wounds can lead to diabetic foot ulcers, which can be serious and require medical attention. About 85% of diabetic amputations begin with an infected foot ulcer. 

How can I prevent diabetic foot problems?

The first and most important step in preventing diabetic foot problems is to control your blood sugar. Over time, elevated blood sugar creates nerve damage, which is the root cause of many diabetic foot problems. 

Also, people with diabetes often suffer from poor circulation. As a result, diabetic feet often have increased pain and swelling. You can use cold and warm baths to help. Warm water will increase blood flow to your feet, helping prevent nerve damage, while the cold water helps keep inflammation at bay. 

It’s also important to stay physically active when you have diabetes. Physical activity helps prevent diabetic foot problems by improving circulation and decreasing your risk of developing diabetic neuropathy. Try going for regular walks to help improve circulation and prevent foot problems before they start. 

You’ll also want to keep an eye on your feet and look for changes that may indicate a developing problem. Some symptoms to look for include:

Finally, if you have diabetes it’s important to get regular podiatric exams from a diabetic foot care specialist. In addition to regularly examining your feet for problems, your podiatrist provides professional care of calluses and corns, treatment of wounds and blisters, and can help trim toenails and excess skin to prevent the development of diabetic foot problems.  

Are there treatment options for diabetic foot problems?

Even if you take preventive measures, it’s still possible to develop diabetic neuropathy and the associated foot problems. While there is no cure for diabetic neuropathy, you and Dr. Anderson 

can work together to manage your symptoms and treat diabetic foot problems should they occur. 

The exact treatment required depends on your unique needs. Your podiatrist treats any calluses, blisters, or corns as they develop to prevent the risk of further damage to your skin. Our caring team can also conduct important circulation and nerve function testing and prescribing treatments as required. 

If you do spot a small cut, wound, or blister, it’s important to schedule a visit as soon as possible to prevent further damage. We can also X-ray your feet to analyze pressure points that may be at elevated risk for foot ulcers. 

To learn more about preventing diabetic foot problems and all of your podiatry needs, call our office at 801-269-9939 or request an appointment online today.

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