Dr. Chukwuma Ukata, DPM, of Advanced Carolina Foot and Ankle Center and a member of the Johnston Health Medical Staff, recently gave a presentation to the community on diabetic foot care. Here are some key messages from Dr. Ukata.
Diabetes usually brings to mind high blood sugar and insulin. Common symptoms include frequent urination, fatigue, and increased thirst and hunger. What many non-diabetics or new diabetics may not realize is that diabetes can take a toll on your feet as well. Poor blood sugar control, poor circulation, and nutritional deficiency are often problems that diabetics face, and these can lead to a variety of foot problems.
Common foot problems associated with diabetes include:
- Ingrown Toenails
- Athletes Foot
- Corns and Calluses
- Plantar Warts
- Diabetic Ulcers
While foot problems are common for diabetics, there are ways to prevent some of these from happening. Following these guidelines may help reduce the chances of having foot problems, or may lessen the extent of problems that do occur.
- Proper control of sugar intake
- Wash and dry feet thoroughly and apply lotion every day
- Check feet daily for sores or signs of irritation
- Avoid home remedies for problems that do come up
- Do not walk barefoot
- Exercise regularly
- Do not smoke
- See your family doctor and foot doctor for a checkup every 3-4 months
Taking these precautionary measures from the moment a diabetes diagnosis is made can do a lot to keep your feet healthy. If foot problems do occur, there are many forms of treatment available including antibiotics, custom shoe inserts, surgical debridement of the wound, or hyperbaric oxygen therapy. With proper treatment and care you can live a full and active life despite diabetic foot problems.
If you find yourself suffering from a foot problem despite your best preventive efforts, call the Johnston Therapeutic Wound Center or visit our website to learn more about the diabetic foot care you can receive through Johnston Health.