Healthy Living
May 03, 2018 By Gabrielle Bauer
How are your feet?

It’s Foot Health Month, but if you live with diabetes, your feet are a priority all year round. When Diabetes Dialogue asked people from our Facebook community what they wanted to know about foot care, they had lots of questions. Here’s one from Ralph Stoker, and the expert advice provided by Dr. John Embil, a doctor, professor in the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba, and co-author of the chapter on foot care in the new Diabetes Canada 2018 Guidelines for the Prevention and Management of Diabetes in Canada. (If your doctor doesn’t already know about the Guidelines, be sure to share the news, so you can get the best diabetes care possible.)

Q I don’t know what to look for when it comes to potential foot problems!

A If your eyesight is good enough, inspect your feet with a mirror. If not, have a family member or caregivers inspect them. Look for changes in the colour and texture of your skin, or the shape of your feet, and go to your doctor or foot specialist if you find any of the following:

Whiteness: affected areas, such as toes, turn white – a sign of poor circulation

Redness around the affected area: possible sign of infection

Redness of the skin when your foot hangs down: possible sign of peripheral arterial disease (PAD), which indicates poor circulation in your feet

Bruising: possible sign of trauma

Blisters: ill-fitting footwear

Calluses: could cause pressure and lead to open sores

Cracks in the skin: could lead to infections

Lumps/bumps on the sole: shift in the structures of your feet, possibly the result of an injury that went unnoticed as a result of, say, nerve damage, also known as diabetic peripheral neuropathy, which could leave you unable to sense or feel pain in your feet

Toes pointing in different directions: possible fractures

Want to learn more about how to prevent diabetes complications? Check out this downloadable foot care info.

Parts of this post were originally published in the article, “Feet First” by Gabrielle Bauer, which appeared in Diabetes Dialogue.

How do you take care of your feet? Tell us now.

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