Local News

Foot Care A Necessary Step For Diabetics

Posted April 26, 2001 1:28 a.m. EDT

— Diabetes can lead to poor circulation and loss of feeling in the feet.

People withdiabetes can often tell when their blood sugar levels are high by the feeling in their feet, but there is a condition they cannot feel that also is dangerous.

Diabetics need to pay special attention to their feet so they can avoid the infections that can lead to many other complications.

It is important for diabetics to wear proper fitting shoes and socks.

"It sounds like a simple thing to say, but many diabetics get in the habit of just wearing bedroom slippers or socks around the house. This is inappropriate. They, in general, need to have a good shoe on their foot," says podiatrist Dr. Bruce Fawcett.

Patients can be fitted for special shoes that do not rub or slip.

"If they have mobility problems or can't tie their shoes as well, diabetics should get velcro closures, or at the very least, loafers," suggests Fawcett.

Shoes should provide lots of room for toes to move around so they do not rub against one another. The inside of the shoe should not have any sharp or rough areas.

Because many diabetics also suffer from numbness in the feet, they may not feel a callous or blister.

If an infection is not treated properly, it can lead to amputation of toes or the entire foot.

"Things that diabetics can do to take care of their feet include such simple measures as daily inspections," says Fawcett.

There are two important reasons for people with diabetes to put cream on their feet each night: It helps moisturize the skin, and it cause people to look at their feet each day.

Diabetics should have any foot infection looked at immediately and always have the doctor inspect feet during checkups. They will close attention to circulation and check for any loss of sensation.