5 Tips for Giving Yourself A Diabetic Foot Exam

  • diabetic foot exam image

5 Tips for Giving Yourself A Diabetic Foot Exam

Over 29 million Americans have diabetes. Those with diabetes must be sure to take care of their health and watch for any complications.

One concern for those living with diabetes is complications with their feet. Diabetes can lead to nerve damage leaving one unable to feel hot or cold. This lack of sensitivity can lead to injuries very easily.

This is why conducting a diabetic foot exam is crucial.

Are you living with diabetes and trying to best take care of yourself? Read below for five tips for giving yourself a proper foot exam!

1. Find a Comfortable Position for Giving Yourself a Diabetic Foot Exam

In order to properly assess your feet, you need to get in a comfortable and stable position. If you have poor flexibility or excess belly weight, you may have difficulty seeing your feet. If this is the case, ask a family member or caretaker for help.

Try sitting on a bed or toilet for stability. Make sure there will be room in front of you to pull your leg up on top of the other one. If you recently showered, be sure to completely dry your feet before beginning the exam.

2. First Focus on the Bottom

Gently move your ankle so the bottom of your foot is visible. If you are unable to achieve this position, try using a mirror.

Checking these areas will help avoid many foot complications possible with diabetes.

Scan the balls of your feet for bumps or rough texture. Check the soles for bumps and lumps which could signal bone or muscle problems. Also be sure to check your heels. Keep a look out for dry cracked skin.

Be sure to moisturize with lotion. Even small cracks can become infected.

3. Get Touchy Feely

During your diabetic foot exam, make sure to feel your entire foot. Pay attention for any drastic temperature differences or bumps. There are foot infrared thermometers that can be helpful in detecting circulation issues you may be unable to see.

Make sure to note any tenderness or pain you notice here. There are many options for dealing with diabetic foot pain.

4. Use your Eyes

Make sure to a visual inspection of your feet. Again, note any bumps or areas that look abnormal. Keep an eye on any scabs or rough textures.

Decreased blood flow can make skin look thin or shiny so be sure to note any overall skin appearance changes.

5. Pay Attention to Toes

Make sure your toenails are a normal color. Spread your toes with your fingers to check in between for any areas or red skin or ingrown toenails.

If you haven’t had previous complications, try doing an exam weekly. But if you have a history of complications, be sure to do an exam every day. This will help you keep a close eye on any issues.

Follow these five tips and you will be on your way to your own diabetic foot exam. Still have questions or concerns? Call our office +1-626-385-3338 or if you prefer to reach out to us via email, we will be happy to help!

5 Natural Treatments for Diabetic Foot Pain

  • man checking diabetic foot pain

Diabetic Foot Pain: 5 Natural Remedies

Foot pain is a reality for many people with diabetes, and results from damages to the peripheral or autonomic nerves. 

Also known as neuropathy, nerve damage is a very common problem among people with diabetes. In fact, research shows that 60 to 70 percent of people with diabetes have some form of neuropathy. 

Some people with nerve damage show no symptoms. Others may have symptoms such as pain, cramps, tingling, or numbness – loss of feelings in the arms, legs, and feet.

If left untreated, neuropathy can worsen over time and lead to complications such as losses in motor function, foot ulcers and debilitating pain which may, in turn, lead to amputation. 

Fortunately, there are several natural ways get relief from diabetic foot pain. 

The 5 natural treatments for diabetic foot pain

Here are the best natural treatments for diabetic foot pain.

1. Manage blood sugar levels

Managing blood glucose level is universally accepted as the best treatment for diabetic neuropathy.

When your blood sugar reaches toxic levels, it leads to neuropathic complications. Therefore, when it comes to managing diabetic neuropathy, controlling the blood sugar levels should take precedence.

Poor blood glucose levels greatly increase the risk for peripheral neuropathy, which is currently the leading cause of non-traumatic amputations.

The best way to manage your blood glucose level is by eating a healthy diet, exercising, and having regular check-ups by your doctor.

2. Warm baths

One of the easiest natural home remedies for diabetic foot pain is a warm bath.

A warm bath is a viable option since hot water increases blood flow to extremities, hence can help improve circulation in the legs and hands. 

Taking a warm bath is also a good way to relax your body, which may make it easier to cope with the pain.

3. Manage Stress

Stress worsens the inflammations and raises the risk for diabetes complications of all kinds. 

Meditating, exercising, spending time doing hobbies and being with family and friends are typical stress relievers to engage in. 

Exercises, in particular, help to improve circulation hence having a good exercise program can help replenish damaged nerves. Doing exercises can also help reduce blood sugar levels as well as increase your tolerance to pain.

4. Follow a healthy diet

What you eat has a direct impact on your blood sugar levels, so a good diet should be your starting point if you want to manage diabetic complications. 

Doctors recommend you focus your diet on unprocessed foods and reduce consumption of sugary drinks and refined carbs to keep your blood sugar level in check.

Your diabetic diet plan should include food rich in fiber, high in nutrients, and low in sugar content. Vitamin B family like B-1, B-6, B-12 are important for nerves health.

Eating a healthy diet ensures you are getting enough vitamin Bs to boost your nerves health.

5. Quit smoking

Cigarette smoking can influence blood circulation, increasing the risk of foot health problems and other related neuropathic complications. 

Therefore, people with neuropathy should stop smoking at all cost. If you are a smoker and have diabetes, you are at a greater risk of developing nerve damage than diabetic nonsmokers. 

Conclusion

Just like diabetes, there is no known cure for neuropathy, only ways to control and stop its progression. 

However, with these natural remedies, foot pain will be a thing of the past.

For more information on how to get relief from diabetic foot pain and other neuropathic complications, contact us. We specialize in treating diabetic patients and collective surgeries of the foot and ankle.