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From morning to night, your feet work hard. By the time you are 50, your feet will have take you 75,000 miles. If you have diabetes or are at risk for diabetes, you need to pay special attention to your feet, no matter what your age is. Even a small bump, bruise or scratch, can escalate into a serious problem for those with diabetes. This is because nursediabetes can cause nerve damage in your feet, making it difficult to feel pain when you injure them. Not only is nerve sensation compromised with diabetes, but also diminished circulation makes foot injuries difficult and slow to heal. Protect your feet by caring for them every day and taking special care to avoid injury.

Diabetic nerve damage, called neuropathy, affects as many as 65% of people with diabetes. Diabetic neuropathy can cause many symptoms, including pins and needles sensation, severe pain, numbness or a loss of pain sensation in the hands and legs, which can lead to foot problems.

Preventing foot problems. Aggressive treatment of diabetes begins when you are diagnosed reducing complications and prolongs health, including foot health. Feet need to be pampered and protected to keep them free from harm. Follow a routine of daily care and inspection to monitor the health of your feet.

Wash your feet daily, paying special attention to drying them thoroughly. Keep toenails trimmed and soften calluses and corns. Inspect your feet every day by using a mirror to look carefully at the bottoms of your feet. Check for red spots, cuts, blisters, bruises, sores or other changes that you may not even feel. If close inspection of your own feet is difficult, ask someone to help you. Wear comfortable shoes with leather or canvas uppers so feet can “breath.” Choose socks that are soft, thick and free from seams that can rub against your skin. Avoid going barefoot and keep feet covered with shoes and socks, even when indoors.

©2007 St. James Catholic Church, Hopewell, VA