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taking control of your diabetes : Diabetes Blog-Chat : October 2006 : 2006-10-09 to 2006-10-15

October 10, 2006 22:06 - Diabetes Cold Feet - Foot Care Tips

Do you have cold feet? I don't mean are you scared to do something, I'm talking about cold feet due to bad blood circulation. That's the result of my type 2 diabetes; cold feet and hands. And having poor blood circulation means it is even more important to pay close attention to the condition of your extremities; like feet and hands. Check these action points for your diabetic foot care...

If you don't look after your feet you run the risk of developing sores or infections that could, in the worst case scenario, lead to amputations. As happened to my father-in-law. Reduce your risk of infection or amputation by following these 7 foot care tips...

1) Check your feet daily - especially if you have low sensitivity or no feeling in your feet. Sores, cuts and grazes could go unnoticed and you could develop problems leading to amputations.

2) Don't go around barefoot, even indoors. It's easy to tread on something or stub your toes and cut yourself. Protect your feet with socks/stockings and shoes/slippers. (Check out this footwear for diabetics, not available in the UK unfortunately; Men's Diabetic Shoes or these Ladies Diabetic Shoes)

3) Be careful if you have corns or calluses. Check with your doctor or podiatrist the best way to care for them.

4) Wash your feet daily in warm, NOT HOT water. And don't soak your feet (even if you've been standing all day) because it could dry your skin and form cracks or sores.

5) Take extra care to dry your feet completely, especially between your toes. These are natural moisture traps - leaving them damp or wet could create all sorts of problems.

6) Exercise your legs and feet regularly. Even when sitting you can rotate your ankles; wiggle your toes or move your legs up and down. These all keep your blood circulation flowing and helps to minimize the risk of foot problems.

7) Get your feet professionally checked, at least once a year, for sensitivity and signs of any problems. You can usually arrange this when you have your annual check up for your AC1 levels (blood glucose levels over a 3-month period), blood pressure and cholesterol.

Get help from a relative or professional; Doctor, diabetic nurse or podiatrist if you are not able to bend when trimming nails or checking for sores. Taking these simple actions will help you reduce the risk of painful problems.

If you do get any tenderness or pain in your extremities it could be the start of nerve-damage, known as neuropathy. In which case it's even more important take constant care of your feet. Neuropathy can be reversed if it is caught in the early stages. Check this out for more details of how to do that.

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