Diabetic Foot Care
The Albuquerque Lower Extremity Amputation Prevention Center is part of The Foot and Ankle Clinic of Albuquerque, P.C. This site was developed as the premier location to enable you find all the information you need on basic diabetic foot care. Diabetic patients should make foot and ankle health a top priority in their lives. Diabetes is a devastating disease that can affect multiple body systems, including the feet and lower extremities.
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Why You Should Care for Your Feet with Diabetes
Two common systems that are affected in the feet are the Nervous and Vascular. Diabetes can damage the nerves of the feet, leading to burning, tingling, pain, and numbness. In severe cases, it can result in balance issues thereby increasing one’s fall risk. This is called Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy (DPN). DPN may lead to the development of ulcerations or wounds on the feet because cuts, lesions, and irritations can go unnoticed due to the diminished sensation of the feet. In this case, wounds to the feet can be dangerous and can result in serious limb and life-threatening infections.
Diabetes can also affect the blood flow to the leg and foot. Diminished blood flow makes even the smallest cuts, sores, or wounds difficult to heal. This can also lead to loss of tissue and even limbs if the progression is severe.
Helpful Tips for Our Diabetic Patients
- Inspect, Inspect, Inspect! Perform daily foot checks. This can either be done by having a friend or family member look at all areas of your feet. If you live alone, place a large handheld mirror on the floor and check the bottom of the feet this way.
- Moisturize your feet daily to avoid itching and cracking of the skin.
- Shoes: Wear supportive shoes at all times and minimize barefoot walking. Always inspect your shoes prior to putting them on to look for foreign objects that may irritate or cause harm to your feet. Make sure you wear appropriate shoe gear for each season and activity. In the Winter, make sure you wear warm socks and waterproof shoes to prevent frostbite. We can recommend diabetic shoes if you have certain risk factors.
- Heat: Never use heating pads, electric blankets or blow-dryers to warm your feet. These can create burns to the feet without you noticing. Do not place your feet in hot water without first testing the temperature with your hand.
- Blood Sugar Monitoring: Monitor your blood glucose levels routinely and let your primary care physician know if they get elevated. Avoid smoking because this decreases blood flow to your feet.
- Diet and Exercise: Getting proper daily nutrition and exercising are also part of living a healthier diabetic lifestyle. Please schedule a visit with us today to receive appropriate guidance on what types of exercise are appropriate for your feet.
- Clinical Exams: Make sure you get periodic or routine foot exams with us to prevent complications. Having routine care can reduce and in most cases prevent diabetic foot complications like infections and amputations. We highly recommend treating any toenail issues or calluses immediately. Additionally, please let us know if you begin to experience any burning, tingling, numbness, balance problems, or changes in the shape and/or appearance of your feet. Studies have shown that up to 80% of all amputations can be preventable by well-provisioned care.
Following these tips for caring for diabetic feet can effectively save a limb or life. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to call The Foot and Ankle Clinic of Albuquerque, P.C.
Talk With the Doctor
Same Day Appointments are Available.
717 Encino Pl. NE #3 Albuquerque, NM 87102
Are You a New Patient?
Please fill out the New Patient paperwork (download link below) and bring it with you to your first appointment. On it you will find placed to include: