What are the risks for type 2 diabetes foot problems or ulcers?

Question: I have type 2 diabetes. What are my risks for foot problems or ulcers?

Answer: Most of the problems with the feet come from having nerve damage, also called neuropathy. If you have nerve damage to your feet, you might not feel a minor sore or blister until it becomes much bigger and even infected. Should you develop a foot ulcer, see your health care provider immediately even if it does not hurt. It requires medical attention. You can help prevent, delay or decrease the severity of diabetic neuropathy by managing your blood glucose levels.

Foot care guidelines

To help prevent foot ulcers and other problems with your feet, follow basic foot care guidelines that include the following:

  1. Keep your feet clean and dry, especially between the toes. Do not spread lotion between your toes.
  2. Look at your feet carefully everyday for redness, swelling, broken skin, infection etc. If you can't see the bottoms of your feet, use a mirror.
  3. Always wear well-fitting shoes, even in the house. Wear swimmers' shoes on the beach and at the pool.
  4. Trim your nails straight across, and file them gently with an emery board.
  5. Have a podiatrist, a foot specialist, tend to calluses, warts and other problems.

About Jill Weisenberger

Jill Weisenberger, MS, RD, CDE is the author of Lose Weight with Diabetes Week by Week (American Diabetes Association, 2012). She serves as contributing editor of Environmental Nutrition. A recognized speaker and consultant, she is recognized for her practical advice and desires to help others improve their eating habits, to lose weight and to live healthier lives.


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