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Diabetes Foot Care

Posted by Marilyn Csernus -

You may be wondering why I am discussing foot care as part of a nutrition blog. Well, as a certified diabetes educator we help individuals with diabetes manage all aspects of diabetes care, thus diabetes foot care being the topic today. Continue reading to find out how to attend an upcoming presentation on diabetes foot care by local podiatrist, Dr. Brandon Gumbiner.

Routine foot problems can turn into major foot problems for someone with diabetes. Poor blood flow can change the shape of the foot or toes. Often the cause of diabetes foot problems is a result of nerve damage or neuropathy, which can lead to loss of feeling to the foot. Although neuropathy can be painful it can also make it difficult to feel pain and temperature sensation in the feet. This loss of feeling can unfortunately increase the risk of blisters, cuts or burns to the feet. It is important to always check the temperature of bath water prior to stepping into a tub filled with hot water because nerve damage can make it difficult to recognize the water is too hot and potentially result in a burn.

Anyone with diabetes should never work on calluses or corns at home. Leave this to a healthcare provider. Calluses tend to build up quicker on the feet of those with diabetes and can become thick and breakdown leading to open sores or ulcers if not properly trimmed and cared for. Feet can become very dry and cracked, especially lately with the extreme cold. Proper daily foot care is essential to keep feet healthy. The feet also become dry because the nerves that control moisture balance may not be working as well with diabetes. It is important to dry your feet well after a bath or shower and apply a thin layer of an unscented lotion. Do not rub lotion between the toes as this extra moisture can lead to infection.

If a foot ulcer does develop get it treated right away. Treatment will depend on the severity and location of the ulcer. Sometimes a special shoe or brace is needed to protect the ulcer and allow for better healing. Diabetes can cause blood vessels in the foot to narrow and harden leading to poor circulation. Following the advice of your health care provider to keep your blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels in check and not smoking can give you some control over improving circulation problems. Following the advice of your healthcare provider regarding physical activity is important as well, especially when treating a diabetes foot problem as no two problems are the same. Just as with a diabetes meal plan, diabetes foot care must be individualized.

To learn more about diabetes foot care join me for the February 5, 2014 Living Well with Diabetes Support Group meeting at the Rock River Center located at 810 South 10th Street in Oregon, IL at 6:30 pm. We are very pleased to have Dr. Brandon Gumbiner as a guest speaker for our upcoming support group meeting. Dr.Gumbiner, a podiatrist in private practice with Katherine Shaw Bethea Hospital will provide an informational talk on diabetes foot care. Anyone managing diabetes or family and caregivers of those with diabetes are welcome to attend.

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