Feet and Legs

3 more tips for you to keep your feet and legs for life.

Joy Pape By Joy Pape, RN, BSN, CDE, WOCN, CFCN

My last article had three tips to help you prevent limb problems and limb loss. I hope these helped you. Remember, for the most part, you can prevent problems for your feet and legs.

Here's 3 more tips:

4. Wear shoes that protect and fit. Shoe sizes are not standardized. Just because you wear a size 9 in one shoe, doesn't mean you'll wear a size 9 in another. Therefore you need to try on every pair of shoes before you buy and wear them. And, it's best to do this mid-afternoon or later. Your feet and legs tend to swell as the day goes on. If you buy them early in the morning before your feet and legs start to swell, they may be too tight later in the day. Don't make the mistake of buying shoes that are a bit tight thinking they will s-t-r-e-t-c-h. They might not, and even if they do, they can cause problems before that happens.

When you have purchased your shoes, wear your new shoes only an hour or two a day, until your feet get used to them. Not breaking them in slowly may cause blisters and sores – some of the early stages before amputation if wounds are not treated well.

Protective shoes are ideal as they cover your entire foot. Think of it this way…if someone were to step on your toe, is your foot protected? This is why leather shoes are usually recommended. They also allow your feet to breathe, which protects you against excess moisture in your shoes and socks, which can also set you up for trouble.

5. Don't be ashamed. Get help! You may think you have ugly feet because of your wounds or just because you've never thought they were your best assets. Don't let that make you hide your feet from your doctor or diabetes educator. Take your shoes and socks off so they can check your feet and get you the help you need. Whether your toenails are thick, too long, too short, or your feet less than pleasant to the nose, remember that they've seen it all and are there to help you. You'll be glad you did.

6. Cold Feet? Winter is upon us. Your feet can get cold from the outside temperature or they may be cold due to nerve problems and/or poor circulation. Wear socks and use wool blankets, but don't try to warm them near space heaters or with hot water bottles, electric heating pads, or electric blankets. You can seriously burn your feet and legs. Talk with your healthcare provider about your cold feet. You may need to You may need to see a specialist for help..

EnJOY! your feet for the time of your life.

Read Joy's bio here.

Read more of Joy Pape's columns.

NOTE: The information is not intended to be a replacement or substitute for consultation with a qualified medical professional or for professional medical advice related to diabetes or another medical condition. Please contact your physician or medical professional with any questions and concerns about your medical condition.

Last Modified Date: July 08, 2013

All content on dLife.com is created and reviewed in compliance with our editorial policy.

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