You have to manage a lot when you have diabetes, from what you eat to how you exercise and when you check your blood sugar. It can be stressful to add foot care to the mix. But people with diabetes need to care for their feet to prevent neuropathy. Neuropathy is nerve damage that can lead to pain, numbness and increased risk of injury. Below, we explore four common myths about diabetic foot neuropathy and the truth about foot care and your health.
The Myths and the Facts About Feet and Diabetes
Myth 1: All people with diabetes have foot problems.
In reality, only half of the people with diabetes have problems with their feet! There are many steps you can take to prevent or improve foot conditions. Try the following steps.
- Check your feet daily for cuts, bruises, calluses or other marks.
- Wash your feet every day using warm, soapy water.
- Wear shoes that fit right – not too tight or too loose.
- Keep your blood sugar levels as in range as possible.
- Stay active, even during your workday, to keep your circulation strong. Get up and walk around for five minutes every hour.
- Keep your toenails trimmed evenly across.
- Have your podiatrist check your feet at every exam.
Myth 2: Foot problems only happen to people with diabetes who are overweight.
The truth is that anyone with diabetes can have nerve damage in their feet, even if they’re not overweight. However, being overweight does contribute to diabetic neuropathy. So regardless of your weight, stay active and follow the steps above to keep your feet healthy.
Myth 3: People with diabetes can’t clip their toenails.
In actuality, people with diabetes can and should trim their toenails regularly. It’s essential to keep your nails at an even length to avoid ingrown toenails, which can lead to infections and pain. If you can’t see or reach your toenails, your doctor can provide this service.
Myth 4: People with diabetes-related foot conditions can’t be active.
While it’s true that diabetic neuropathy in the feet can cause pain and numbness, it’s not true that people with diabetes can’t be active. Getting and staying active is a way to improve your circulation and the condition of your feet. Of course, some activities may not be suitable, depending on how advanced your diabetic neuropathy is, but other activities are great options. Our favorite activities for patients include the following:
- Yoga. Yoga is a soothing, relaxing activity that connects the mind and body. It also gets you moving while putting little pressure on your feet.
- Walk. Walking is a simple activity you can add to any day. Take a walk around the office or lap around the block to get your blood flowing. Make sure you wear comfortable, breathable tennis shoes.
- Swim. Swimming is one of the best exercises because it keeps pressure off of your joints and gets the blood flowing. It doesn’t feel like much work in the moment, but you’ll feel much stronger afterward!
Schedule Your Exam Today
Keeping your feet healthy isn’t something you have to do alone. So schedule your next exam with Dr. Fedorchak. Our expert team is compassionate, experienced and kind. We’ll get you the diagnosis and treatment you need to get your feet healthy and keep them well.