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Here's how to take care of your foot health if you have diabetes

IANS Apr 03, 2024

Maintaining proper foot health is essential for people with diabetes, as it can significantly impact nerves and blood supply to the feet, leading to ulcers, said a top diabetologist on 2 April.

Low blood supply to the foot can also result in limb amputations due to infections arising from diabetes.

“Ensuring foot health is essential, especially for those managing diabetes,” said Dr V Mohan, chairman of Dr Mohan's Diabetes Specialities Centre, in a post on X.com.

“Nerve damage can be unpredictable. Consult your doctor if you feel any change in sensation (pain, tingling, burning, numbness, etc) in toes, feet, or legs,” he added.

Diabetic foot occurring due to peripheral artery disease and diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage) is among the most common complications of the blood sugar condition. Studies have shown that around 85 per cent of all diabetes-related foot or leg amputations begin with a foot ulcer.

Dr Mohan also shared some crucial tips for diabetic foot care like keeping blood glucose under control, washing feet every day, and drying them thoroughly.

He stressed the need to check toes “for any fungal infection”, and to consult a specialist for “corns, calluses or ingrown toenails”.

Importantly, the doctor said people must “not attempt to self-treat these conditions”.

About 15 per cent of people with diabetes face diabetic foot problems, with many grappling with potentially devastating complications. Around 40,000 lower limb amputations reportedly take place in India every year.

Dr Mohan advised diabetics to protect their feet from extremes in temperature and to avoid walking barefoot.

“Wear socks with your shoes, since leather, plastics, and manmade shoe materials can irritate skin and cause infections.”

He also recommended regular non-impact exercises on the feet like swimming, cycling, and yoga to boost blood circulation.

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