Dr. MJ Bazos MD, Patient Handout
Diabetes: Foot care

How does diabetes affect my body?
Diabetes causes your blood sugar levels to be higher than normal. Over time, high blood sugar levels can damage the blood vessels and nerves in your body. Damage to your nerves means that you may have burning pain or lose feeling in a part of your body (this is called diabetic neuropathy). Damage to the blood vessels means that your feet may not be getting a good supply of blood.

Why do I have to worry more about my feet?
People with diabetes often have trouble with their feet. Part of the problem is that the loss of feeling in your feet makes it hard for you to tell if you have a blister or sore. If little sores aren't taken care of, they can get worse and turn into ulcers (serious, deep sores). If these ulcers become infected, you may have to go to the hospital or, in very serious cases, have a foot amputated (removed). This handout will give you some tips on how to care for your feet.

How can I avoid problems with my feet?
Keep your blood sugar level as close to normal as possible. Also, follow your doctor's advice on diet, exercise and medicine. Here are some other ways to protect your feet:

What should I look for when choosing shoes and socks?
How often will my doctor check my feet?
Your doctor or nurse should check your feet periodically when you go in for a visit. If you are having any problems, such as loss of feeling, sores or ingrown toenails, tell your doctor right away.
American Diabetes Association: www.diabetes.org