If you have diabetes, you have more in common with Tom Hanks and Halle Berry than you might think. They, just like you, have to worry about nerve damage and complications that could affect their limbs and lives. Diabetic neuropathy is a serious condition that can make even the most mundane household objects a source of concern.
Peripheral neuropathy is a complication of diabetes that affects the nerves in our limbs. Nerve damage creates a lack of feeling, especially in our feet. This means that you need to take extra care when it comes to protecting them.
Some things you may not even think about, for example an electric blanket. This may seem like a simple household object that many people use, but for a diabetic it can cause problems. If it is too hot, you may not be able to feel it with your feet, which could lead to a burn. A way to avoid this is to warm up your bed with the blanket and then turn it off before you get in, to avoid contact with the hot blanket.
People with diabetes need to check their feet daily to make sure nothing is out of the ordinary. Even the smallest cut can become a serious diabetic foot ulcer if left untreated. Take the time to inspect your feet every day. It can be part of a ritual (after your shower, before bedtime, etc.) so that you remember to do it every day. Look for abnormal bumps, bruises, discoloration, and any other trauma. Be thorough, making sure to check your ankles and between your toes as well. If you need help to see, you can use a mirror or have a loved one look for you in hard to reach places. This is the first line of defense in staying safe when you have diabetic feet.
For more information about managing neuropathy call Dr. Peyman Elison and Dr. Viedra Elison at (623) 584-5556 to schedule a consultation at Fixing Feet Institute in Surprise, AZ.
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