Diabetes and Your Feet
Diabetes can cause problems with our feet and legs. This can occur often without you realizing it.
Tiny blood vessels (called capillaries or micro-circulation) can become thickened. This doesn’t allow the blood to flow freely to your lower legs and feet and can result in edema (swelling), cold feet, dry skin with thickening of your toenails and callous formation on your heels and soles.
Neuropathic changes can occur, The nerves that supply our feet and legs can be poorly nourished because of the circulation changes and you may experience sharp burning pain in your feet or numbness in areas of the foot. This is dangerous because you can injure yourself and not even be aware of it. Often people with diabetes can walk on pebbles, hot surfaces or sharp objects and create a major wound that is difficult to heal.
Your gait (the way you walk) can also be affected causing you to stomp along. Often you will choose shoes that don’t fit properly, tending to buy them too small in an effort to feel them.
Proper care and inspection of your feet and lower legs on a routine basis can prevent huge problems for you.
1. Never go bare foot.
2. Do not apply heat to your feet in an attempt to warm them.
3. Wash and thoroughly dry your feet daily.
4. Only buy shoes that are properly fitted for you.
5. If you have a health plan or can afford then, consider custom orthotics for support.
6. Check the insides of all foot wear and socks for ridges or rough spots. If you find any, throw them out.
7. Cut nails straight across.
8. Never attempt to cut your nails or trim calluses unless you can each your feet easily and see them well.
9. Maintain blood sugar in the safe range.
10. Eat well. Healthy nutrition is really important and promotes healing.
11. Have your feet regularly inspected by a Health Care Professional.
12. If any open wounds occur, seek medical advice - don’t put it off in an attempt to treat it at home.
If you were diagnosed a long time ago, or newly diabetic and are seeking further information here’s what you can do:
1. Come see us here at Quarry Medical with a referral from your family physician 613-541-0270
2. Seek assistance from The Diabetes Education Centre 613-544-3400