Posts for: June, 2012
There are over 9 million Canadians today living with diabetes, and more likely than not, the chronic disease affects you or someone you know. With more people being diagnosed each hour, knowing if you are at risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes can help preserve the future of your health.
The main warning signs and symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes include:
- Weight gain or loss
- Cuts and bruises that are slow to heal
- Tingling or numbness in the hands or feet
- Extreme fatigue
Even if you aren’t experiencing the above symptoms, if you are over the age of 40, or if a parent or sibling in your family has diabetes, it’s important to get checked and tested by your physician as these factors increase your risk for developing the disease.
Unfortunately, diabetes causes your pancreas to not produce insulin, which helps break down food into energy throughout your body. Uncontrolled blood sugar levels result from the deficiency, which can take a major toll on your feet.
People with diabetes often experience foot complications that commonly include:
- Decreased circulation
- Nerve damage, also known as neuropathy, where loss of feeling in the foot is experienced
- Slow healing foot wounds that can develop into ulcers
- Foot amputation as a possible result due to one or a combination of the above complications
How can you keep yourself protected from such problems? Although diabetes can cause serious and severe problems to your feet, the good news is that you can decrease your risk for developing these complications by managing your diabetes and blood sugar levels. Chiropodist Brian Cragg recommends incorporating these simple health tips into your life to prevent diabetic foot problems from affecting your life.
- Take care of your feet and check them regularly for abnormal changes
- Take your medication as prescribed
- Maintain a healthy meal plan
- Incorporate physical activity each day
- Don’t smoke
- Develop a management plan with your physician to keep your blood pressure and blood sugar levels in check
If you have diabetes, the warm summer months mean taking extra precaution when it comes to your feet. Although it’s important to take care of your feet each season year round, summer months can bring extra difficulties, which may include burned feet, puncture wounds, and dry or cracked heel. Any of these foot difficulties can lead to severe diabetic foot complications.
- Never walk barefoot - especially at the pool, on the beach or even inside your house! Exposing your feet without the protection of a shoe can increase your risk for stepping on sharp objects, developing burns from walking on hot sand or pavement, and contracting a bacterial or fungal infection. Don’t put your feet at risk, so keep your feet secured in a shoe!
- Apply sunscreen to your feet daily. When it comes to putting on the SPF, you may not think to include your feet in the coverage. However, feet can easily burn on both tops and bottoms in the hot sun. Make sure to apply sunscreen on all areas of your feet before you step outside.
- Apply moisturizing lotion daily. Warm weather can easily dry out your feet, which can lead to cracks and possible infection. Keep your feet properly moisturized by applying lotion on a daily basis. Avoid putting lotion on the areas in between your toes as the moisture can lead to a fungal infection.
- Summer heat can create prime conditions for your feet to swell. Elevate your feet whenever possible in order to reduce swelling, encourage blood flow circulation, and nerve function.
- Make sure your summer footwear is a proper fit. Wearing a proper fit shoe is critical to provide support and protection for your diabetic foot. Check each summer pair and toss out any sandals or flip-flops that are worn or don’t fit anymore.
Don’t let this summer season affect your feet! Follow these tips to ensure your summer is spent with healthy feet. However, if you’re experiencing any diabetic foot complications, contact our office to set up an appointment with Chiropodist Cragg.