Diabetes type 2: Swelling, pain, open sores or ingrown toenails are toe and feet signs

Diabetes UK show how to test feet for diabetic feet sensitivity

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If you have diabetes, having too much glucose (sugar) in your blood for a long time can cause some serious complications, including foot problems which may lead to amputation if caution is not adhered.

Some of the most acute warning signs of blood sugar damage can be obscured in relation to the nerves.

Nerve damage caused by high blood sugar levels is medically referred to as diabetic neuropathy.

Diabetic neuropathy most often damages nerves in your legs and feet; another telltale sign of which can be observed on your toes.

According to WebMD,

  • Swelling in the foot or ankle
  • Pain in the legs
  • Open sores on the feet that are slow to heal or are draining
  • Ingrown toenails or toenails infected with fungus.

Tips to reduce diabetes foot problems include:

  • Take care of yourself and your diabetes
  • Wash your feet in warm water every day, using a mild soap
  • Check your feet every day for sores, blisters, redness, calluses, or any other problems
  • If the skin on your feet is dry, keep it moist by applying lotion after you wash and dry your feet
  • Gently smooth corns and calluses with an emery board or pumice stone
  • Check your toenails once a week
  • Always wear closed-toed shoes or slippers
  • Always wear socks or stockings
  • Wear shoes that fit well. Buy shoes made of canvas or leather and break them in slowly
  • Always check the inside of shoes to make sure that no objects are left inside
  • Protect your feet from heat and cold
  • Keep the blood flowing to your feet
  • If you smoke, stop. Smoking can make problems with blood flow worse
  • If you have a foot problem that gets worse or won’t heal, contact your doctor.
  • Make sure your diabetes doctor checks your feet during each check-up
  • See your podiatrist (a foot doctor) every 2 to 3 months for check-ups.

Your foot check is part of your annual review, which means you should have it as part of your diabetes care and it’s free on the NHS.

“This is because you’re more likely to have serious foot problems and these can lead to amputations,” explains Diabetes UK.

According to the health body, if you develop a problem with your feet, it’s really important to speak to your care team right away – don’t delay.

In most cases, serious foot problems can be prevented.

As Diabetes UK noted, you can do this by checking your feet yourself every day, and having a foot check at least once a year that’s arranged by your GP practice.

“Everyone with diabetes should have an annual foot check, so make sure you get yours – even if you’ve been referred to a foot specialist or clinic,” explains the health body.

“They will check your feet but also tell you your level of risk of foot problems.”

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