Diabetic Foot Care
By Drew Heideman, MPT, ATC, PES
Diabetic Foot Care
Diabetes is a common metabolic disease for diabetic foot care that affects a person’s blood glucose (sugar) levels. There are several types of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is the most is the most common. If diabetes is left uncontrolled, several diseases can develop. These diseases range from heart and blood vessel disease to nerve disease (neuropathy), and even blindness. Furthermore, development of these diseases can create further serious complications. Most noteworthy are ulcer formation, infection, and even amputation. Also, the vast complexity of diabetes brings up the importance of having a multidisciplinary approach to treatment of diabetes, prevention of more serious complications from developing.
Peripheral neuropathy is a common disease that arises from uncontrolled diabetes. It occurs as a result of extended periods of elevated blood sugar to the nerves. This results in damage to the nerves causing symptoms of numbness, tingling, and pain of the nerves affected. Diabetic neuropathy most commonly affects the nerves to the legs and feet, which leaves a person’s feet vulnerable to injury. A person with impaired sensation to their feet can overlook injury to their feet, which is why it is necessary to have a regular assessment on the skin and vascularity of the feet.
Here are several tips to avoid complications of uncontrolled diabetes:
- Check blood sugar daily and take medication as prescribed by a physician
- Control blood sugar with proper nutrition and low impact exercise
- Check your feet regularly for blisters, calluses, cuts, or color changes
- Wear protective closed-toe shoes
- Monitor the temperature of bath water to avoid burning feet
- Keep the skin on your feet clean and supple
- Manicure toenails regularly
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If your injury does require physical therapy or surgery, our JOI team has the expertise and technological advances to get you back to your ideal level of function. If you are interested in scheduling an appointment at JOI Rehab for physical therapy, call (904) 858-7045. Come see us!