Kate Cornell was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in June of 2005. Since then, she has controlled diabetes through dietary changes, exercise, and, more recently, metformin. She shares her experiences and lessons learned here and on her blog, kates-sweet-success.blogspot.com, which was named as one of the top diabetes blogs for 2015 by Healthline.com.

Diabetics have a lot on their plate when it comes to what we should be monitoring: what we eat, how much we move, blood glucose levels, did we take/inject our meds etc. All of those things are important but there is another thing we should be paying attention to as well—our feet.

Neuropathy and foot problems go hand-in-hand with all types of diabetes. The American Diabetes Association website gives some helpful advice on caring for our feet with diabetes.

4 prevention tips

  1. Have a thorough foot exam done by your healthcare provider at least once per year, more often if you are having issues. One way to ensure that your doctor remembers to check your feet is to take off your shoes and socks every time you have an appointment.
  2. Report any cuts, splits or other foot issues to your doctor right away.
  3. Corns and calluses should be removed by your doctor.
  4. If you have serious foot issues, you may need to see a foot care specialist.

8 foot care tips

1. Control your blood sugar as best as you can. Complications arise from uncontrolled diabetes.
2. Check your feet daily. Look for blisters, red spots or sores and take care of them immediately.
3. Wash them every day. Keep your nails trimmed and avoid jagged nails.
4. Improve your circulation by not smoking.
5. Avoid crossing your legs for long periods of time.
6. Prop your feet up while watching TV or sitting.
7. Always wear shoes and socks, especially when on hot pavement or sand.
8. Stay active. Exercise improves circulation which helps to protect your feet. (P.S. Discuss your exercise plans with your doctor first.)

Foot infections can bloom quickly but you can prevent that by following these simple steps. Take care of your feet. Don’t become one of those awful diabetes complication statistics simply because you failed to pay attention.

For more information on this topic:

DOCTOR DISCUSSION GUIDE: Talking to Your Doctor About Neuropathy
Protect Your Feet: Tips to Prevent Diabetic Neuropathy
Your Diabetic Feet: Tips to Avoid Neuropathy and Other Foot Complications