Foot Health and Diabetes: Preventing Complications with Podiatric Care


Foot Health and Diabetes: Preventing Complications with Podiatric Care

Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects millions of people worldwide, leading to a range of health
complications if not managed properly. One of the most serious and often overlooked complications of
diabetes is its impact on foot health. Poor foot health can lead to infections, ulcers, and even
amputations in severe cases. Podiatric care plays a crucial role in preventing these complications and
maintaining overall health and mobility for individuals with diabetes. In this blog post, we will explore
the connection between diabetes and foot health, the importance of regular podiatric care, and
practical tips for preventing foot complications.

The Connection Between Diabetes and Foot Health:

Diabetes can cause several issues that affect foot health, including:

1. Peripheral Neuropathy: Diabetes can damage nerves, particularly in the feet and legs, leading to
loss of sensation. This means that minor injuries or infections may go unnoticed and untreated,
potentially leading to severe complications.

2. Poor Circulation: Diabetes can impair blood flow to the extremities, making it harder for
wounds to heal and increasing the risk of infections.

3. Immune System Impairment: High blood sugar levels can weaken the immune system, reducing
the body’s ability to fight off infections.

4. Foot Deformities: Over time, diabetes can cause changes in the shape and structure of the feet,
such as bunions, hammertoes, and Charcot foot, which can lead to pressure points and ulcers.

The Role of Podiatric Care:

Regular podiatric care is essential for individuals with diabetes to prevent and manage foot
complications. Key components of podiatric care include:

1. Routine Foot Examinations: Regular check-ups with a podiatrist help in early detection and
treatment of foot issues before they become serious. Podiatrists can identify signs of
neuropathy, poor circulation, and deformities.

2. Wound Care Management: Podiatrists are trained to treat and manage foot wounds and ulcers,
ensuring proper healing and preventing infections.

3. Nail and Skin Care: Proper care of nails and skin can prevent ingrown toenails, fungal infections,
and calluses, which can lead to more severe problems if left untreated.

4. Custom Orthotics: Podiatrists can provide custom orthotics and footwear recommendations to
alleviate pressure points and improve foot alignment, reducing the risk of ulcers and other

5. Education and Preventive Care: Podiatrists educate patients on proper foot care practices,
including daily foot inspections, appropriate footwear choices, and how to manage blood sugar
levels to support overall foot health.

Practical Tips for Preventing Foot Complications:

In addition to regular podiatric care, individuals with diabetes can take proactive steps to maintain foot
health and prevent complications:

1. Daily Foot Inspections: Check your feet daily for cuts, blisters, redness, swelling, or any signs of
infection. Use a mirror or ask for help if you have difficulty seeing the bottoms of your feet.

2. Keep Feet Clean and Dry: Wash your feet daily with warm water and mild soap. Dry them
thoroughly, especially between the toes, to prevent fungal infections.

3. Moisturize: Apply lotion to keep the skin on your feet soft and prevent cracking, but avoid
applying it between the toes.

4. Trim Toenails Carefully: Cut toenails straight across and file the edges to prevent ingrown
toenails. Seek professional help if you have difficulty trimming your nails.

5. Choose Proper Footwear: Wear well-fitting shoes that protect your feet and provide adequate
support. Avoid walking barefoot, even at home, to prevent injuries.

6. Manage Blood Sugar Levels: Keeping your blood sugar levels within the target range can
significantly reduce the risk of foot complications.

7. Stay Active: Regular physical activity improves circulation and overall health. Choose low-impact
exercises like walking or swimming that are gentle on the feet.

Foot health is a critical aspect of managing diabetes, and proactive podiatric care can significantly
reduce the risk of serious complications. By partnering with a podiatrist and adopting good foot care
practices, individuals with diabetes can maintain their mobility, prevent infections, and improve their
quality of life. At CCCHC, we are committed to providing comprehensive podiatric care to support the
foot health of our patients with diabetes. Don’t wait until problems arise – take steps today to protect
your feet and ensure a healthier tomorrow.

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    About the Author

    Dr. Ghassan M. Al-Jazayrly, MD

    A graduate of University of Aleppo Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Al-Jazayrly or, as he is colloquially known: Dr. AJ, is an oncologist and hematologist of a Complete Care Community Health Center (CCCHC) with more than 36 years of experience. In recent years, he’s been involved with a non profit organization known as Every Woman Counts (EWC) which provides free breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services to California’s underserved populations in order to eliminate health disparities for low-income individuals.

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