Foot Health for Happy Feet
In honor of National Foot Health Awareness month (April) this article will focus on foot health.
Feet are vital to so many daily activities; it can be easy to take healthy feet for granted. Poor foot health can make even the most basic self-care tasks such as: bathing, toileting, showering, and preparing food a true challenge.
According to the 2018 Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes, “Foot ulcers and amputation, which are consequences of diabetic neuropathy and/or peripheral artery disease are common and represent major cause of morbidity and mortality in people with diabetes.”1 Such complications can be delayed and possibly prevented with early recognition and optimal treatment.1
Diabetic neuropathyDiabetic neuropathy is nerve damage related to diabetes. Nerve damage can affect any part of your body, however the nerves in your feet and legs (diabetic peripheral neuropathy) are most commonly affected.2 According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Between 60% and 70% of people with diabetes have diabetic neuropathy…”2 Early symptoms of diabetic neuropathy include: pain, burning, and tingling. Additional symptoms may also include numbness and loss of protective sensation.1Nearly 50% of those with diabetic peripheral neuropathy have no symptoms. If necessary foot care and preventative measures are not taken there will be a greater risk for foot injuries.1Risk factors for diabetic neuropathyDiabetes durationPoor glycemic control (i.e. hyperglycemia and elevated A1c)AgePrediabetesHigh blood pressureDyslipidemia (abnormal blood lipids)ObesityHeight (i.e. greater height associated with greater risk)Smoking3
Do you use a glucose monitor to check your blood sugars?