Have your bare feet checked by your doctor at each office visit (every 2-3 months) and ask them for a comprehensive foot exam at least once a year and more frequently if you have neuropathy. Comprehensive foot exam includes checking for neuropathy, blood circulation and assessment of your skin, muscles and bones.
- Your doctor will check for neuropathy by touching your feet with a nylon monofilament (which is similar to bristles on your brush) or by pricking with a pin.
- For blood circulation assessment, your doctor will examine all the pulses in your feet and legs.
- Your doctor will also check temperature sensation in your feet and vibration sensation using a tuning fork.
- Make sure your doctor checks your feet, take off your shoes and socks before your doctor comes into the room.
- Tell your doctor right away about any foot problems. It is wise to write down any symptoms you are experiencing including the ones that seem unrelated to diabetic feet problems. This will make sure you don’t forget any while talking to your doctor.
- If you cannot cut your toenails or you have a foot problem, ask your doctor to send you to a podiatrist (foot doctor).
- Ask your doctor/podiatrist to show you the right way to trim your nails.
- Your doctor will also do a footwear assessment to see if you are wearing properly fitted shoes and to see if you’ll benefit from corrective footwear or foot inserts.
- Ask your doctor to provide you written take-home instructions for self-care of feet.
The good news about managing diabetic foot complications is that it’s all up to YOU. So take back the control. Keeping your blood glucose in check, daily foot care, early identification of a foot problem and early intervention to prevent further deterioration are the key to minimizing serious long term foot damage caused by diabetes.!
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