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Written By: Steve L. Belcher, RN, MSN, MS, DN-CM
Sponsored by: Renadyl™
Why does diabetes put your feet at risk?
It starts with our nerves. Nerves give our bodies feelings and sensations. About half of all people with diabetes have some kind of nerve damage. Diabetes causes damage to the nerves in our body. You can have nerve damage in any part of the body, but nerves in your feet and legs are most often affected. Nerve damage can cause you to lose feeling in your feet. This can make it harder to feel problems like blisters, sores, cuts, and swelling. We just keep walking on the problems without noticing. And, because diabetes makes it harder for wounds to heal, these small problems can get serious quickly. They can even become an ulcer if not treated.
Daily Foot Checks
Every day, take a look at your feet in good lighting, You may need to use a mirror to see your soles more easily. You can also have a helper take a look for you. It only takes 30 seconds and can save your feet!
Preventing Foot Problems:
Here are some easy ways to keep your feet as healthy as possible.
- Go to a podiatrist for annual exam. This is very important.
- Wear thick and comfortable socks,
- Avoid walking around barefoot, even to the bathroom at night. Wear socks or slippers around the house.
- Wear tennis shoes when you can. Tight dress shoes and heels can cause blisters, corns, or bunions.
- Trim and file your toenails regularly. Remember to cut them straight and not too short.
- Exercise daily, this could be as easy as taking a short walk.
- If you can’t exercise, at least wiggle your feet and toes. Do this for about 5 minutes, 3 times a day. This gets the blood flowing.
- Talk to your doctor about shoe insoles or orthotics.
- Check for cracked skin.
- Feel for bumps or temperature change.
- Dry well especially between toes.
About the author
Steven Belcher, RN, MSN, MS, is a dedicated kidney advocate who began his journey 20 years ago as a dialysis nurse. This job inspired him to help as many people with kidney disease as he could. Not only did he spent two decades caring for a patient’s physical and emotional needs in a clinical setting, but he also educated the public on the risk factors of kidney disease. Some of his many philanthropic successes include being a keynote speaker at the National Association of Nephrology Technicians/ Technologists (NANT), presenting at community spaces, and launching radio shows.
He now focuses his time entirely on his organization Urban Kidney Alliance, which educates the public about kidney disease. His goal? To lower rates of Chronic Kidney Disease in urban communities in Baltimore, Maryland, across the country, and globally through education and collaboration.
Steve has also written the book “HOW TO SURVIVE OUTPATIENT HEMODIALYSIS: A GUIDE FOR PATIENTS WITH KIDNEY FAILURE.” You can read the book review here.
Learn more about our sponsor Renadyl™ here https://renadyl.com