By Dr. Donna Barrese
February 10, 2017
Category: podiatrist
Tags: podiatrist  

If an individual has been suffering from Type 1 Diabetes or was recently diagnosed with Type 2, he or she may typically be most concerned with diet and insulin. While this is very important, people with diabetes may also lose sensitivity in their feet due to nerve damage and poor circulation, and in the worst case scenarios, they may require amputation. It is recommended that individuals adhere to frequent checkups with a podiatrist to prevent such drastic treatments.

Image of microscopic vasculitic neuropathy

What is Neuropathy?

When one suffers nerve damage, it can reduce the foot's ability to feel pain or secrete its natural oils to prevent dryness and cracking. The excessive levels of blood sugar in diabetes may cause this condition, which leads to a vicious cycle that can severely damage the feet.

While one may experience pain even with neuropathy, he or she may not feel fluid buildups, or even a sharp object inside the shoe, which can cause consistent damage. If a patient leaves this untreated, the effects of low blood circulation and potential infections may leave patients with no choice but amputation. However, one may take many preventative measures to avoid such a dire outcome.

How to Take Preventative Measures

Understanding the risk of diabetes and its effect on your feet is the first step to avoiding serious issues. Additionally, routine steps can help improve the health of feet.

- Find the right podiatrist and follow their recommendations for individual care.

- Wear quality compression socks or stockings to increase blood flow and reduce fluid buildup.

- If skin starts drying out and peeling, the individual should use a thin layer of hand cream or petroleum jelly to keep in the moisture after a shower. However, patients should not soak feet for extended periods of time or apply the cream to the area between toes.

- Check for calluses and use a pumice stone after showering to remove the dead skin. Do not cut calluses open as they may turn into ulcers or cause an infection.

- Engage in regular aerobic exercise to promote circulation, but avoid overly strenuous activities such as running and jumping. Focus on cleanliness and foot care to make the most of this routine.

Always double check and seek an appointment with a podiatrist to answer any additional questions and determine if there are other precautions to take.