When it comes to diabetes and the complications your feet can suffer from it, we have some advice: stay woke!! If you haven’t been very active on social media, you may be raising your eyebrows at that [slightly grammatically annoying] advice. But it’s pretty simple: “Stay woke” is current lingo that means “educate yourself and be informed about a current issue.”
If diabetes is an issue for you, you need to stay woke regarding all the risks it poses to your feet. Even if you don’t have diabetes but have been warned by a doctor that you’re at risk, you need to sit up and pay attention. Noticing a problem with your feet can be the first step in diagnosing diabetes.
So, what steps can you take to prevent diabetic foot complications? It all starts with a daily foot check. Look for these 5 very specific things:
- Changes in color. Darkening of the skin may indicate reduced blood flow to that area, a condition known as peripheral artery disease.
- Changes in shape. Look for such things as toes that curl downward – an effect of diabetic neuropathy; large corns or thick calluses that stick out can easily become irritated and infected.
- Painful areas. These may indicate a stress fracture or other injury to the bone.
- Breaks in the skin. Any sort of cut or scrape needs to be carefully watched, as it can lead to infections that won’t heal or ulcers. Ulcers can be very difficult to treat and if not monitored by the staff at Montgomery Foot Care Specialists, can quickly lead to amputation.
- Loss of feeling. Test your ability to feel sensation by lightly touching your foot all over with a soft towel. In addition, see if you can feel the difference between warm and cold water (test on your hand first to make sure the temperature isn’t too hot). If you notice decreased sensation anywhere, make an appointment with us as soon as possible.
When you stay woke about your diabetic feet, you become a partner in your overall health along with Dr. Heidi M. Christie and Dr. Chanda L. Day-Houts, our tri-county area’s expert podiatrists. If you see anything suspicious about your feet, or if you simply would like some more advice about diabetic foot care, contact us at our office in Montgomery, AL at (334) 396-3668.