Title.GIF - 1.74 K
Take Care of Your Feet
Food Chart

Treatment and Care for Healthy Feet

Whether you're going long for that touchdown pass or standing in line at the bank, you depend on your feet to keep you moving. Diabetes increases your chances of developing foot problems. If you are a diabetic, you cannot afford to take your feet for granted. Give them the special care they need.

Diabetics' feet have fewer defenses against everyday wear and tear. Nerve damage is common. This can lead to injuries that go unnoticed. Reduced blood flow can prevent injuries from healing and lead to serious infections. The point is that diabetics need to pay special attention to their feet. The following gives suggestions on how to inspect your feet, what to look for, and ways to prevent serious foot damage.

Healthy Foot

Typical Diabetes Injuries

Nerves let you feel pain, vibration, pressure, heat, and cold Damaged Nerves may make it difficult for you to feel pain, pressure, heat and cold.
Blood Vessels Carry nutrients and oxygen to your feet to nourish them and help them heal from injuries. Blocked Blood Vessels bring fewer nutrients and oxygen to your feet. Without nourishment, sores may not be able to heal.
Bones give your foot shape and help distribute the pressure from your body's weight. Weakened Bones may slowly shift, causing your foot to become deformed and changing the way your foot distributes pressure.
Joints are the connections between your bones. They help absorb pressure and allow your foot to move. Your arch is a group of joints that provides stability for you entire foot Collapsed Joints, especially a collapsed arch, can no longer absorb pressure or provide stability. The surrounding skin may begin to break down.
Blisters or Calluses start as red or warm spots. They are often caused by unrelieved skin pressure
Ulcers (sores) may result if blisters or calluses reach the skin's inner layers. Ulcers may become infected.
Bone Infection may occur if infected ulcers spread. Untreated bone infections may lead to loss of foot.

Evaluating Your Feet

A thorough evaluation is the first step in your foot health program. It includes a review of the history of your diabetes and your overall health. A foot exam and x-rays or other tests are also part of the evaluation.
Medical History

Your doctor and other health care team members need to know about any foot problems you have had in the past. You may also be asked about medications you're taking. Your answers help your doctor determine the level of care your feet need.

Possible Tests

Your health care team may request these or other tests to help pinpoint your particular problems.

  • A tuning fork checks level of feeling
  • The Doppler Test measures blood flow
  • X-rays show bone problems
  • Scans can reveal bone and skin infections

Foot Examination

A foot exam can reveal circulation, nerve, skin, bone, or joint problems. By taking each font's pulse, your doctor can check how well blood circulates. Your doctor examines the condition of your skin and looks for any weakness of collapse in your bones and joints. The sensitivity of your skin may also be checked.

Your Treatment Plan

Your health care provider uses the results of your evaluation to create an individual foot care program for you. Your program may range from developing an effective self-care routine to treating minor foot problems to surgery.

Preventing Foot Infections

Preventing foot infections is the best step toward protecting the health of your feet. Your Health Care Provider examines your feet regularly, teaches you about self-care, provides foot "maintainance" and may recommend special footwear to help extra relieve pressure.

Examining Your Feet Regularly

Even if you don't have symptoms now, they could develop quickly. Follow your schedule for regular exams. Give your health care provider the opportunity to monitor the blood flow and feeling in your feet, as well as to catch small foot injuries before they develop into larger infections.

Providing Routine Foot Care

Routine foot care helps keep thick and ingrown nails, blisters, corns, calluses, and other skin irritations from developing into ulcers or infections. Your health care team may:

  • Trim or thin nails
  • Treat blisters
  • Trim corns and calluses

Teaching You Self-Care

The more you know about diabetes and your feet, the better you can monitor your foot health. A member of your health team can teach you warning signs and how to inspect your feet, as well as many other foot care tips. But make sure to ask any questions you have about your foot health.

Providing Customized Foot ware

If areas of your feet have been damaged by extra pressure, you may be referred to a podiatrist for customized footwear. It protects pressure-sensitive areas of your feet and helps keep existing skin irritations from worsening.

Evaluating Your Feet

Inspecting your feet helps you catch small irritations before they become serious infections. Check daily for these warning signs that could mean your feet are in trouble. If you cannot see your feet, ask a relative or friend to help. And see your doctor right away if you find a problem.

  • Color Changes
    Redness with streaks is often a sign of an infection. Pale or blue tones may mean poor circulation. Darkened skin is a sign that tissue has died.

  • Swelling
    Swelling, sometimes with colour changes, may be a sign of poor circulation or infection. Symptoms include tenderness and an increase in the size of your foot.

  • Temperature Changes
    Warm areas may mean that your feet are infected. Cold feet often are a sign that your feet aren't getting enough blood.

  • Sensation Changes
    Odd sensations like "pins and needles", numbness, tingling, burning, or lack of feeling may mean nerves are damaged.
  • Hot Spots
    Red "hot spots" are caused by friction or pressure. Hot spots can turn into blisters, corns (thick skin on toes), or calluses (thick skin on the bottom of the foot).

  • Cracks, Sores, and Ulcers
    Cracks and sores are caused by dry or irritated skin. They are a sign that skin is breaking down, which could lead to ulcers.

  • Ingrown Toe nails
    Ingrown toe nails are often caused by tight-fitting shows or incorrect nail trimming, Symptoms include nails that are growing into the skin, swelling, redness, or pain

  • Drainage and Odor
    Drainage and odor may develop from untreated ulcers. White or yellow moisture, bleeding, and odor are often signs of infection or dead tissue.

Call your doctor immediately if you have any of these symptoms

Some Simple Dos and Don'ts

  Safe To Do Dangerous
For Cold Feet Wear warm socks or wrap your feet in a blanket Do not warm your feet with a heater, heating pad, or hot water bottle
To Clean Feet Clean your feet in a shower or bath tub Do not use foot soaks
Sitting Sit with both feet on the floor Do not cross your legs when you sit
Wearing Socks Wear socks that fit smoothly and are not tight Do not wear garters or tight socks
Buying Shoes Wear walking shoes that fit well and are comfortable Do not wear shoes that are too tight or uncomfortable. Never go barefoot.

For more information call: The American Diabetes Association, 1-800-232-3472

Home Diet Food Chart Exercise Gestational Glossary Injections Insulin Hypoglycemia

This site produced by Power Verbs