Today I want to talk about a part of the body that many diabetics ignore. The forsaken feet. These poor little piggies of mine definitely take a back seat. I mean, I think about my feet when I stub my toe or need a pedicure or my shoes are killing me. Absolutely. I also give them some thought when I visit my doctor & see the ‘Please Remove Your Shoes’ sign. Uh-oh. Yipes! But other than that, I rarely consider my weight bearing vessels. I’m generally too busy thinking about all the other diabetic things that consume my thoughts, like bs levels or carb intake. This disease just takes up too much of my time and brain power. Psh!
Plus, I’ll admit it. I break the foot care rules. I do. Tsk Tsk. I love being barefoot. I love getting pedicures. I love wearing heels. I do these things even though I am aware that diabetic complications and poor foot care could lead to amputation. People with diabetes are more susceptible to having trouble with their feet because of high blood sugar. As we know, high blood sugar can damage several parts of your body. In regards to feet, high bs can cause neuropathy or nerve damage. When your nerves are damaged, you may not feel pain, heat, or cold. You may not be aware if you cut your foot or get a sore. Diabetics also can have poor blood circulation which makes it even harder for cuts or infections to heal. These 2 problems combined can lead to amputation. Not cool.
So, here are five simple steps to remind you…and me…to keep your feet happy.
1. Maintain the best possible glucose level. I’m not going to be the douche who says ‘Keep your blood sugar normal and you won’t have problems!’ I know keeping a normal bs is sometimes impossible no matter how perfect you are. So, just do your best.
2. Check your feet. Do it in the shower. You have to wash your feet anyway. Give them the once over as you are cleaning them. Check for cuts, scrapes, swelling, blisters, etc. Also, make sure to thoroughly dry your feet after your shower, especially between your toes. If you apply a lotion, skip putting it between your toes. This is one place you want to keep dry.
3. Don’t walk barefoot. I can’t lecture you on this because I don’t like shoes or socks. So, blah blah, buy some slippers, blah blah, wear socks, blah blah.
4. Keep your blood flow moving. This is where problems arise, poor circulation. So wiggle your toes every once in a while. Be a little more active to help increase the blood flow to your feet & legs. Get up and move around, lazy!
5. Cut your toenails regularly. Not only are long toenails yucky and nasty…ew, they could cut into your skin, cause and ingrown nails. Which, undetected, could lead to an infection.
So, even though I am choosing to wear these:
I will definitely make sure to take care of my feet in other ways to compensate. Like treating myself to a visit here: Futzpah 188
& choosingthis lovely option:
UN-SUGAR MY TOOTSIES DIABETIC PEDICURE
This is a specialty pedicure service for people with diabetes and for our Mountain Podiatry patients between your podiatric visits. Your feet will be placed in a warm jet bath for cleansing, followed by a light nail filing, soft buffing of the skin, with a soothing leg and foot massage. Nail conditioning and a polish application will complete your visit. $45.00
Although $45 seems pretty excessive for a pedicure, I will gladly pay extra for special attention to my tootsies. After all, it’s much better than paying $20 at the local chop shop and possibly walking away with an infection.
Anyhoo, keep your feet healthy, fellow diabetics. Like I said, being this guy isn’t cool.