Sugar Matters
March 12, 2010
Ten Commandments of Diabetic Foot care

As some of you may already know, a medical team from John Hopkins University and led by native Vincentian Ann Lee-Wilkins will be visiting St.Vincent and the Grenadines in April. The main goal of this expert team is aimed at improving diabetic foot care, education about amputations, and prevention of future amputations or foot complications in diabetics.{{more}}

I feel honoured to have been invited to accompany them on this important visit; therefore I will be seeing many of you during the April trip. But more on that in future…(just a tease of information there – keep your ear to the ground for more information!!!)

In anticipation of our April trip, today we will start a diabetic foot care series in this Sugar Matters column. The Ten Commandments listed here are really quite simple, but many people do not follow them for one reason or another. In some cases it is -time: “I don’t have time to go to my doctor for him/her to take off this corn on my foot.” In some cases it is – stubbornness: “I want to wear gunslingers so I will.” In other cases it truly is a situation of someone not knowing and then having an honest accident: “I didn’t know the water was so hot and I wanted to soak my feet, then they got burned.”

The goal of this short series is to remind some of you of the basic rules for people with diabetes, and to teach those of you for whom this is all new. Some rules will strike you as almost too simple, but remember that diabetic feet are very special and need different (and more intense) care than non-diabetic feet (although non-diabetic feet could also benefit from some of these rules). Here is a quick snapshot of all the rules, but over the next few weeks we will discuss them in detail:

Ten Commandments for Diabetic Foot Care:

1) Look at your feet everyday.

2) Wear shoes or socks at all times when walking or standing

3) Do not wear slippers (gunslingers), ill-fitting tight shoes or too-tight socks

4) Do not soak your feet!!!

5) Keep feet dry especially between the toes

6) Report ANY bruising, change in colour, cuts, sores or new odour to your doctor IMMEDIATELY

7) Ask your doctor to help cut your toenails especially if they are thick or discolored. Ask for help with corns, dead skin and boils. DO NOT LANCE BOILS, TREAT CORNS OR FILE/SAND DEAD SKIN ON YOUR OWN.

8) Ask your doctor to look at your feet at visits, even if nothing seems wrong

9) Keep good blood sugar control

10) Watch for strange symptoms or signs: changes in colour of your feet, pain in your legs/feet when you raise them or at night, corns, bunions, change in shape of your toes/bones. REPORT THESE TO YOUR DOCTOR AS SOON AS POSSIBLE

There is your list, read and take them to heart and mind until next week. There will be more details about each commandment, and our upcoming trip, in the next few weeks. Keep reading Vincies! Until next week stay safe and healthy.

Anita Ramsetty, MD
Medical Director Endocrine Care Group
Tel: 843-798-4227