If you have diabetes, you can minimize your risk of losing a toe, foot, or leg by paying more attention to it. You need to include a thorough foot examination in your daily routine so you can immediately address any potential concerns that may be masked by limited sensation.
Here are some of the things you need to watch out for: swollen blisters, cuts, and sores, as well as calluses and corns.
Calluses and corns are rough skin patches generated by constant pressure. Their presence may also indicate that your footwear is not adapting to your foot's shape.
However, experts advise against over-the-counter callus and corn removers because they can harm the skin.
Although a daily foot check can help you mitigate further damage, it's also essential to implement a strategy for managing your blood glucose levels. According to an advisory by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), high blood sugar levels may aggravate nerve damage over time. If this is the case, you may first notice soreness and tingling, followed by a lack of sensation.
If daily foot checks aren't implemented, the lack of sensation in the feet can aggravate cuts, which may cause lasting damage by making your feet vulnerable to infection. When these infections don't respond to treatment and gangrene develops, your healthcare team may recommend amputation to prevent the illness from spreading throughout your body.
The NIDDK suggests working closely with your doctor to develop a blood sugar management strategy, which typically includes a mix of a healthy diet, exercise, and medicine. Your healthcare team can also help you set goals that help you maintain healthy blood sugar levels. And, of course, don't forget to check your feet consistently.
The only strategy to prevent amputation is to avoid the consequences of diabetes by carefully managing the disease.