Because diabetes can affect your health and lifestyle in so many different ways, it can be easy to overlook how it impacts your feet. But this would be a huge mistake!
People with diabetes are often much more susceptible to foot problems than those without—and at the same time, problems that might only be minor irritations for others are more likely to develop dangerous complications if diabetes is in the picture. Considering how much you depend on healthy feet to do almost every activity, this is not a minor concern!
That’s why, if you have diabetes, it’s so essential for everyone to have a comprehensive diabetic foot care plan—even if you have no prior history of foot problems. Being proactive and developing healthy habits as early as possible is the best way to guarantee healthy, active feet to last a lifetime!
How Diabetes Puts Your Feet At Risk
Diabetes causes systemic damage throughout the body, but your feet are often one of the first places to start developing serious symptoms.
Why is that? Two of the biggest reasons involve how the elevated blood sugar associated with diabetes damages both the circulatory and peripheral nervous systems. Either problem is bad enough on its own, but they are extremely dangerous in combination:
- Damage to the peripheral nerves (neuropathy) can reduce sensation in the toes and feet, or eventually make them completely numb. You might not notice a cut or other injury right away.
- Damage to the circulatory system means your body is less able to heal itself and close wounds, and less capable of fighting off any germs that might get into the wound and infect it.
Our Diabetic Foot Care Services
We strongly recommend that everyone with diabetes visits a foot specialist like Dr. Lockwood regularly. This could be anywhere from once every couple of months to once a year, depending on your health status and medical history.
Your appointment will include a comprehensive diabetic foot exam, which includes:
- Checking your circulation.
- Checking your nerve health.
- Checking your skin and nails for signs of ulcers or infections.
- Performing a general risk assessment and determining any additional preventative care steps that should be taken.
This is important, because often we can identify the early warning signs of diabetic complications long before you can on your own. And the earlier we catch them, the more time you have to make sure you keep your feet as healthy as possible.
Other services we provide for patients with diabetes include:
- Exceptional diabetic wound care services.
- A comprehensive diabetic shoe program to get you into a pair of stylish shoes with added depth and extra features to protect your feet from injury and ulceration. Most insurances (including Medicare) will cover one pair of shoes and one or more pairs of custom orthotics per year.
- Prompt and effective treatment for any foot problems or conditions that could pose additional health risks, from ingrown toenails to foot deformities and everything in between.
Treat Your Feet Right, And They’ll Treat You Right
We’ve already said it, but we’ll say it again: the best time to get started with a diabetic foot care plan is always right now.
Whether you have a current foot or ankle issue you’re dealing with, or it’s simply been too long since you had a comprehensive diabetic foot exam, give us a call today at (309) 661-9975. You need your feet to carry you for a lifetime, and we’re here to help you make sure that they do!