The Critical Importance Of Foot Care For People With Diabetes

For some health conditions, all it takes is a couple of weeks of medication or a surgical procedure to resolve the problem once and for all. Diabetes is not one of those conditions. Managing diabetes is a lifelong commitment that requires knowledge, vigilance, and proactive steps to prevent the many risks and complications that can arise.

Some of the biggest dangers faced by people with diabetes relate to their feet. Diabetes can put you at particular risk for serious foot ailments that can lead to painful foot ulcers or amputation if not recognized, diagnosed, and treated at an early stage.

This is why foot care is so critical for folks with diabetes. But taking care of your feet does not have to be complicated. All it takes is commitment and some simple, common-sense steps to significantly reduce the likelihood of severe diabetes-related foot conditions.

Why Diabetes Puts Feet At Risk

The most significant factor that makes diabetes a danger to your feet is the reduction in feeling and sensation that often affects the extremities.

Diabetes can cause nerve damage, which, in turn, may diminish the ability to feel pain. Through pain, our nerves let us know that something is wrong. The inability to feel pain in the extremities, including the feet, means that a person with diabetes may not be aware that they have developed a foot ulcer, infection, fungus, or other issues until they become extremely severe. Additionally, diabetes reduces blood flow to the legs and feet, making it harder for diabetic foot wounds to heal.

Inspect Your Feet Every Single Day

Since your nerves may not alert you to foot problems, it will be up to your eyes to do so. As such, the most important thing you can do to prevent diabetic foot problems is to carefully inspect your feet every single day.

Look closely at the bottom and top of each foot, and check between your toes using a magnifying glass or mirror if necessary. Keep your eyes out for cracks, blisters, cuts, redness, nail discoloration, or swelling. If you see any such problems, make an appointment with your podiatrist as soon as you can.

Other Diabetic Foot Care Essentials

In addition to inspecting your feet each day, make the following habits part of your diabetic foot care program as well:

  • Wash your feet every day with some mild soap and lukewarm water. Give extra attention to the areas between your toes. Dry your feet and toes thoroughly and then use talcum powder to keep them dry.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Wear shoes that do not cause irritation or friction.
  • Always wear clean, dry socks, including to bed if your feet tend to get cold at night.
  • Elevate your feet when sitting down to keep the blood flowing. Wiggle your toes and move your ankles up and down at various points throughout the day.
  • See a podiatrist at least once a year for a thorough foot examination.

Of course, regular monitoring of blood sugar levels is also an essential component of managing diabetes and minimizing the risk of complications, including those that can affect your feet.

Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) is a tested, approved, and easy-to-use transceiver device that helps those with diabetes stay in control of their condition and their lives without the need for inconvenient and burdensome finger-pricking multiple times a day.

Ask your doctor about CGM and contact us today to see if you qualify for CGM and access our guide to continuous glucose monitoring.

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*Fingersticks are required for treatment decisions when you see Check Blood Glucose symbol, when symptoms do not match system readings when you suspect readings may be in accurate, or when you experience symptoms that may be due to high or low blood glucose.

Reference 1: Data on file. Abbott Diabetes Care. 2, FreeStyle Libre 14 day User’s Manual

Indications and Important Safety Information

FreeStyle Libre and FreeStyle Libre 14 day Flash Glucose Monitoring systems are continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) devices indicated for replacing blood glucose testing and detecting trends and tracking patterns aiding in the detection of episodes of hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia, facilitating both acute and long-term therapy adjustments in persons (age 18 and older) with diabetes. The systems are intended for single patient use and require a prescription.

CONTRAINDICATIONS: Remove the sensor before MRI, CT scan, X-ray, or diathermy treatment.

WARNINGS/LIMITATIONS: Do not ignore symptoms that may be due to low or high blood glucose, hypoglycemic unawareness, or dehydration. Check sensor glucose readings with a blood glucose meter when Check Blood Glucose symbol appears, when symptoms do not match system readings, or when readings are suspected to be inaccurate. The system does not have alarms unless the sensor is scanned, and the system contains small parts that may be dangerous if swallowed. The system is not approved for pregnant women, persons on dialysis, or critically-ill population. Sensor placement is not approved for sites other than the back of the arm and standard precautions for transmission of blood borne pathogens should be taken. The built-in blood glucose meter is not for use on dehydrated, hypotensive, in shock, hyperglycemic-hyperosmolar state, with or without ketosis, neonates, critically-ill patients, or for diagnosis or screening of diabetes. When using FreeStyle LibreLink app, access to a blood glucose monitoring system is required as the app does not provide one. Review all product information before use or contact Abbott Toll Free (855-632-8658) or visit www.freestylelibre.us for detailed indications for use and safety information.html. . FreeStyle, Libre, and related brand marks are trademarks of Abbott Diabetes Care Inc. in various jurisdictions. Other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. ©2018 Abbott. ADC-09691 vLO 10/18