Taking Steps Towards Healthy Feet: How Your Podiatrist Can Help Manage Diabetes

Nov 14, 2023
Your feet may be the last thing on your mind when you’re focused on diabetes control, but they shouldn't be. Learn how specialized foot care makes your diabetes management approach more complete and effective.

If you're living with diabetes, you're likely focused on controlling your blood sugar levels, managing your diet, and staying active. Chances are, you don’t give much thought to your feet as you take your medication, test your blood sugar levels, and prepare healthy meals.  

This November, in recognition of Diabetes Awareness Month, it’s the perfect time to focus on why comprehensive foot care is a vital component of effective diabetes management. 

At South Texas Foot Surgeons, PA, in San Antonio and Kerrville, Texas, our skilled team can help you understand this crucial aspect of diabetes care and ensure your feet remain healthy. Here, we explore the connection between diabetes and foot health, and explain how to manage both effectively.

Why foot care is crucial in diabetes management

Foot complications can be a significant concern for anyone diagnosed with diabetes. Poor circulation can slow down the healing of cuts and sores, while nerve damage can lead to numbness, making it difficult to detect injury, inflammation, pain, or infection. Let’s take a closer look:

Poor circulation

Poor lower extremity circulation can make your legs and feet more vulnerable to infection and wound formation. If a simple cut or sore is left untreated, it can escalate to a more complicated issue that requires complex treatment. This is why regular check-ups with our podiatrists — who specialize in diabetic wound care — are crucial.

Nerve damage

Diabetes can also cause peripheral neuropathy, or nerve damage in your lower legs and feet. This condition can lead to a loss of feeling, making it harder to sense irritations or injuries. People with moderate to severe neuropathy might not realize they have a wound or infection until it’s too late, increasing the risk of worsening complications.

It’s vital to manage these complications as soon as possible, before they lead to an even more severe condition like tissue death (gangrene), which might require amputation.

Identifying potential foot issues early on

Regular visits to our podiatrists are essential for early detection of issues that could worsen over time. Preventive measures, such as callus and corn removal, ingrown toenail care, and treatment of minor, emerging cuts or sores, can go a long way in helping to stave off serious complications.

Treatment options

No two feet are the same, and neither are two cases of diabetes. After a consultation with one of our podiatrists, we can develop a customized treatment plan to meet your specific needs. This may involve special orthotic inserts, in-office toenail trimming, medication for infections, wound care, and regular diabetic foot check-ups with our team. 

Simple steps for home-based foot care

It's vital to practice an attentive foot care routine at home, between your visits to our office.

Daily foot check 

A daily self-inspection of your feet can catch problems before they escalate. Look for signs of cuts, sores, or swelling, and give us a call anytime you notice something that concerns you. 

Cleanliness matters

Maintain good hygiene by washing your feet daily and drying them thoroughly, focusing on the spaces between your toes. Applying a light moisturizer can help you prevent dry skin that’s more likely to crack and break open. 

Selecting footwear

Your shoe choice is more crucial than you might think. Always opt for comfortable, well-fitting shoes that offer adequate support, and avoid tight, narrow, and unsupportive shoes that place extra strain on your feet. 

Physical activity

Simple exercises can improve blood circulation in your lower extremities, which is crucial for speedy wound healing and controlling infection. Our team can give you a variety of helpful stretches and exercises to get you started. 

We’d like to be part of your diabetes care team

Diabetes management is complex, and foot care is a crucial aspect that shouldn’t be ignored. As we observe Diabetes Awareness Month, let's not forget podiatry’s critical role in diabetes care and control. 

Entrust your feet to our expert team at South Texas Foot Surgeons, PA, in San Antonio and Kerrville, Texas, by booking an appointment online or calling your nearest office today.