One of my responsibilities in my 20 year career at the pharmacy was fitting diabetic shoes for our qualifying Medicare customers (see more info below). While you yourself may not be a diagnosed diabetic, the importance of monitoring the health of your feet (or your aging parent’s feet) should not be neglected.
If you are over 40, overweight, are diabetic or have blood sugars that are hard to manage, or have high blood pressure, you are at higher risk for slow healing or infected sores on your feet. This is due to poor blood flow in the lower extremities and nerve damage that can desensitize you to pain when you get hurt.
Those wounds that go unchecked can spread infection leading to amputation of toes, feet or even legs.
The best prevention is awareness, so setting aside time each and every day to take a look at your feet, whether high risk or not, is time well spent.
🌀 Wash your feet everyday in warm water. Dry them completely and apply lotion top and bottom, but not between toes.
🌀 Check your feet everyday for redness, swelling, sores, cuts, corns, calluses or any other change to skin or nails. Use a mirror or ask for help if you need it.
The CDC recommends that if you are diabetic, you should make an appointment with your physician or podiatrist if you discover the following:
🌀 Trim toenails straight across and use a file to smooth edges.
🌀 Don’t try to remove corns or calluses yourself.
🌀 Prop your feet when you are sitting and wiggle your toes often. Get up to move every half hour.
🌀 Make sure your shoes fit properly. Shop in the afternoon when feet are largest and break new shoes in slowly around the house. Always wear socks with your shoes.
🌀 Treat the root cause. Type II diabetes and high blood pressure stem from insulin resistance, so making simple eating, moving and lifestyle changes like we cover in the Menopausal Health Reset may help you gain control of your blood sugars and alleviate high blood pressure.
🌀 Have your physician or podiatrist check your feet annually. Just like all the rest of you, your feet are an important part of your health care!
As part of the Therapeutic Shoe Bill, diagnosed diabetic patients with Medicare Part B may qualify for a new pair of diabetic shoes with replacement custom molded inserts every calendar year with a 20% co-pay of Medicare approved amount after annual deductible when prescribed by a Medicare enrolled provider and supplied by a Medicare approved supplier who accepts assignment.
Diabetic or extra-depth shoes are ones that have met these Medicare requirements to protect the foot:
You can read more about the Therapeutic Shoe Bill and search for a local supplier HERE.
Check your feet for sores.
Choose a convenient time to sit down and take a look at your feet. You can do this right out of the shower and give them a wash after work before you relax for the evening.
Give them a good look over (watch the video above), note anything of concern and treat with first aid if needed.
If diabetic, review the CDC recommendations above.
Apply lotion top and bottom.
➤ Have you noticed any changes with your feet? Do sores seem to linger longer than they used to? Do you ever check your parent’s feet?
Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments below⇣⇣
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