There are many rules and regulations established that we all follow because we know they are there for our benefit. We wait for the walk sign at a crosswalk, we follow the speed limit, we stay quiet in a library, we pay our bills on time to avoid late charges, and we avoid walking on freshly poured pavement. Even though other people may have established these rules, we can easily respect them because we understand the possible outcome if we don’t. This same scenario applies if you have diabetes. There are certain rules and regulations that are important to follow for staying healthy and preventing diabetes complications.
Be Proactive and Take Charge
When you live with diabetes, this is one area of your life in which you get to be your own boss, and the job needs to be taken seriously. Being proactive when it comes to your whole body and foot health will help you avoid complications that can significantly impact your life. The reality is that diabetes increases your risk for serious health problems. We are here to encourage you that with proper care, treatment, and lifestyle choices, you can delay the onset of those problems—maybe permanently.
Watch Your Sugar
One of the most important areas you should be proactive about is with closely monitoring your blood sugar levels. Diet and activity level will both influence this important factor. When sugar levels remain high, nerves in your lower extremities can become damaged. This condition is called neuropathy and it affects your ability to feel heat, cold and pain. Blood vessels can also become damaged when glucose levels are out of control, which then affects your circulation. Poor circulation can result in non-healing wounds and ulcers and amputation can result in severe situations.
Pay Close Attention to Your Feet
With neuropathy and poor circulation as common factors with diabetes, it is so important that you take good care of your feet. To prevent complications, you need to be in regular contact with a podiatrist who can monitor your foot health and identify any potential problems. At home, you must be proactive in looking for problematic signs and symptoms and in maintaining a daily regimen of good foot care.
Keep an eye out for any developing hot spots, corns or calluses. These are all indicative of pressure and friction. A small blister can quickly turn into wound or infection that could take a long time to heal. Catch it before it starts and look for red spots where your shoes may be rubbing. An ingrown toenail could turn into a painful infection so trim your nails properly and alert your podiatrist if you notice any redness or swelling around a toenail.
Watch your skin for any changes that could indicate a fungal infection such as Athlete’s foot. Even dry skin needs to be addressed daily due to the fact that, if left alone, a patch of dry skin could crack, leaving you susceptible to infection.
Part of keeping your feet healthy also involves making smart choices with the shoes you wear. Your feet need to be in supportive, comfortable shoes without any squeezing, pinching or rubbing.
Seek Treatment Fast
The best way of preventing diabetes complications is not waiting to seek treatment. Right from the start, as soon as you notice any change in your foot health or a sign that something is wrong, contact our office for help. When we can catch a problem at the onset, we greatly increase the likelihood that you will avoid serious consequences.
Contact Dr. Lawrence Kales if you have diabetes and have any concerns regarding your foot health. Call us today in Hudson at (727) 868-2128 or Springhill, FL at (352) 683-5799, or you can request an appointment online.