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Living Well With Diabetes

Living well with Diabetes

diabetic insulin injection
Know how to look after your feet and know what care to expect from the health service.

  • Be aware of any loss of sensation in your feet. Do not go barefoot and avoid extremes of temperature if you think you have lost feeling in any part of your feet.
  • Touch the toes test. Ask a family member or friend to assess the feeling in your toes by doing a quick, easy test at home. See this Diabetes UK video on how to perform the test
  • If you have any loss of sensation in your feet always check inside your footwear for foreign objects before you put them on.
  • Look after your toenails. Don’t cut down the sides of your nail as this could lead to ingrowing toenails. If you have any difficulty with your foot-care, ask to be put in touch with your local podiatrist (chiropodist). Note: you may have to self- pay for nail cutting service. 
  • Avoid using corn-removing plasters or blades. Blades of any kind may damage your skin and provide entry for infection
  • Always wear well-fitting shoes that protect and support your feet and whenever possible don’t wear shoes with bare feet. 
  • Maintain good glucose levels. Good glucose control can prevent foot problems in the future by keeping the nerves and blood vessels that serve the feet healthy. Speak to your Doctor or practice nurse  
  • Make sure you attend your annual foot review (For 12 years old +) where your feet will be examined by an appropriately trained person, usually a diabetic specialist nurse. Do ask to be referred to a podiatrist if you have concerns.
  • Know your potential  risk. At the end of your annual foot review, you should be told your potential risk of developing foot problems and if you will be referred. 
  • Are your feet at increased or high risk? If so, make sure you have been referred to a specialist for expert advice. 
  • Check your feet every day for any signs of redness, pain, damage to the skin, swelling or build up of hard skin. Use a mirror if you can not see the sole of your foot.  Look for any changes in the shape of your feet.
  • Keep useful numbers handy, and know who to contact at the first sign of problems with your feet

Source: Diabetes UK Putting Feet First


Further Reading:

Diabetes advice form the College of Podiatry

NHS Choices – Feet and Diabetes

Walking Away from Diabetes - This is a 3-hour structured group education programme delivered by trained Educators.