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Why Good Foot Care Is Important for Diabetes

Good foot care is essential for people with diabetes. From foot self-exams to doctor checkups, there are many things you can do right now to keep your feet in good shape, improve circulation, and catch a problem before it becomes severe.

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Diabetes and daily routines go hand in hand--eating balanced meals, monitoring blood sugar, getting some physical activity each day, and relaxing. But there's another task doctors urge you to add to your busy schedule: examining your feet.

Reasons to Check Your Feet
It's not the most glamorous chore, but medical professionals agree it's important. People with diabetes (PWDs) are at high risk for major foot complications, which are often unseen and under-discussed. Those complications can start as small blisters or cuts that are easy to overlook until it's too late.

"Diabetic foot complications account for 20-25 percent of all diabetes-related hospital admissions," says Lawrence Lavery, DPM, MPH, foot researcher and professor of surgery at Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine in Round Rock, Texas.

Uncontrolled diabetes causes nerve damage in the extremities (a condition called peripheral neuropathy that limits pain sensation in up to 45 percent of all PWDs). Nerve damage also leads to poor circulation (which means wounds take longer to heal) and makes you prone to infection (it's difficult for the body to fight off bacteria in wounds).

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