By Dr. Deanna Lites

DETROIT (WWJ) – More than 65,000 lower limbs are amputated every year due to complications from diabetes.

Diabetes is a disease where the body doesn’t produce any or enough insulin causing the blood sugar levels to elevate; and,over time this can lead to serious health problems, including foot problems.

Diabetes can cause problems with the blood flow to your feet making it harder for a sore or cut to heal; and, according to the Michigan Podiatric Medical Association, diabetes can also cause nerve damage to your feet resulting in a loss of feeling.

Talking to WWJ Health Reporter Dr. Deanna Lites during American Diabetes Month, Dr. Jodie Sengstock from the Michigan Podiatric Medical Association offered this advice: “Don’t use over the counter acids for corns, calluses or warts. It can cause ulcers or sores. Also we recommend a diabetic sock that doesn’t have a seam so that it can’t break the skin.”

Individuals should visit a podiatrist for a Comprehensive Diabetic Foot Exam — a simple, painless examination helps diagnose the onset of foot problems due to diabetes.

In addition, the MPMA urges those with diabetes to follow these foot care tips:

  • Inspect feet daily. Check your feet and toes every day for cuts, bruises, sores, or changes to the toenails, such as thickening or discoloration.
  • Wear thick, soft socks. Avoid socks with seams, which could rub and cause blisters or other skin injuries.
  • Walking can keep weight down and improve circulation. Be sure to wear appropriate athletic shoes when exercising.
  • Have new shoes properly measured and fitted. Foot size and shape may change over time. Shoes that fit properly are important to those with diabetes.
  • Don’t go barefoot. Don’t go without shoes, even in your own home. The risk of cuts and infection is too great for those with diabetes.
  • Never try to remove calluses, corns, or warts by yourself. Over-the-counter products can burn the skin and cause irreparable damage to the foot for people with diabetes.
  • Regular checkups by your podiatrist—at least annually—are the best way to ensure that your feet remain healthy.

For more foot health information and to find a local podiatrist, visit: www.MPMA.org.

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