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Diabetic Foot Care

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ID: ANH24279
MEDICAL ANIMATION TRANSCRIPT: If you have diabetes, taking care of your feet is important to prevent permanent damage to them. High blood sugar can lead to health problems in the feet of many people with diabetes. For example, it can cause your blood vessels to narrow leading to poor blood flow in your feet. Diabetes can also lead to nerve damage that often begins in the feet. This can cause numbness, tingling, or pain. It may also cause less ability to feel pain, heat, or cold. If your feet are numb, you may not notice injuries to the bones or ligaments in your feet. These untreated injuries may cause your feet to change shape. Having numb feet may also cause you to not notice that you have a sore or blister on them. Over time, poor blood flow and nerve damage may lead to the sore becoming infected and not healing. If the infection isn't treated or doesn't get better with treatment, your foot may need to be amputated or surgically removed to prevent the infection from spreading. If you have diabetes, keeping your blood sugar in your target range is one of the best things you can do to prevent or slow down nerve damage. Other things you can do to help prevent nerve damage and poor blood flow to your feet include controlling your blood pressure, controlling your cholesterol level, not smoking, eating a healthy diet, being physically active, and taking all medicines exactly as prescribed by your healthcare practitioner. Taking care of your feet is important to help keep them healthy. Check each foot daily for cuts, sores, blisters, calluses, corns, swelling, redness, and any other skin or toenail problems. Wash your feet every day in warm, not hot, soapy water. Completely dry your feet. You can use lotion on the top and bottom of them, but don't put it between your toes, which could lead to an infection. Avoid going barefoot even inside to help reduce the risk of injuring your feet. If your feet are numb, avoid using heating pads or electric blankets to warm your feet. This could result in serious burns. Instead, use socks, slippers, or non-electric blankets to warm them. Wear socks and comfortable shoes that fit well to help protect your feet. Before putting on your shoes, check inside them for pebbles or other sharp objects that could irritate your feet. To prevent ingrown toenails and possible infection, longer toenails will need to be trimmed every week or so. Only trim them straight across, not rounded, or too short. You can gently smooth the sharp corners with a nail file. If you can't see or reach your feet, have your foot doctor or other healthcare practitioner trim your toenails. See your healthcare practitioner right away if you have any of the following symptoms, any type of skin sore, thickened, yellow toenails, an ingrown toenail, pain or a loss of feeling in your feet, a change in the shape of your foot over time, dry cracked skin, fungal infection between your toes such as athlete's foot, or pain or cramping in your buttocks and legs while exercising. To find out more about how to take care of your feet if you have diabetes, talk to your healthcare practitioner.
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