There are 15 MILLION amputations on diabetic patients A YEAR!
The second main reason is that diabetics can lose sensation in their feet and this loss of sensation makes them at increased risk. For example, a diabetic patient with loss of sensation in their toes can accidentally nick the skin while trimming their nails, not feel it, and that can lead to infection.
Should diabetics have a daily foot care plan?
Yes! First thing every morning, a diabetic should check their feet with a mirror for sores and signs of infection. This means thoroughly looking at the whole foot (top, bottom, sides, and between toes) for any indications of a problem.
The foot check should be repeated again at the end of every day.
Is there anything in particular to watch for when checking your feet?
Calluses are a big issue. If you have calluses, you should use a moisturizer. Do not try and pare calluses down yourself. Because calluses can lead to infection, a diabetic is much better off having the doctor treat the callus than trying any self treatment other than moisturizer. .
How often should a diabetic patient see the podiatrist?
This depends on their age and how stable they are. A healthy diabetic patient who is under 50 years old should see the podiatrist every six months. A diabetic patient who is over 50 should have their legs and feet checked every three months. If the patient is over 65, they should come in every 2-3 months to be checked and also to have their toe nails clipped.
What happens at a visit to the podiatrist?
Diabetics are told to exercise – is there an exercise that is better for diabetic’s feet?
Any exercise that increases the circulation to the feet is good. Walking is great exercise and is easy to do. While circulation can be helped, the sensory changes cannot be helped by exercise. Controlling your blood sugar level is really important for maintaining your health.
In summary, what is the one thing that every diabetic patient should know?
Every diabetic patient should have their feet checked each time they go to the doctor. This is not something that physicians did on a regular basis in the past. Increased education both for the doctors and patients has helped with implementation of this necessary exam. The diabetic patient should take off their shoes and socks and make sure the doctor checks their feet.