Self-examination of a diabetic foot

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By Dr. Victor Dumaguing

To Your Health

Friday, December 6, 2013

WE ARE surprised with the enormous reaction to our previous columns on diabets. Either there are more and more people diagnosed with diabetes or that, the present diabetic population has become more aware or afraid of the very real complications of diabetes mellitus. Obviously, most patients have called and texted asking ways by which they may detct or know that their legs or feet are already compromised. Here are some practical tips which can be done at home, while waiting for a schedule with podiatrist or foot doctor or orthpaedic surgeon.

Sit down and pull your foot up pn your knee or rest your foot on a footstool to get it closer to your eyes. Wear your glasses if you need to, and pick a place with good lighting. Use a mirror or a magnifying glass to examine he bottom of your feet. Medical suplly stores and large drugstores have mirrors with long handles for this purpose.

Be sure to run your hands over your feet. People with poor viison can learn what their feet feel like and can pick up chnages in their feet by feeling them. If none of these suggestions work, you may ask a friend or a family member for help.

The following are warning signs that your feet need professional check up; redness, swelling, increased warmth, a change in the size or shape of the foot or ankle, pain in the legs while walking or even at rest, open sores with or without drainage no matter how small, non healing wounds, ingrown toenails, corns or calluses with skin discolorations.

Do not cut your toenails if you cannot see them; ask someone else to do it for you, carefully. Although pedicures might just increase the risk of infection, it is a good idea to have it done by a trusted beautician and that the patient brings with her, her own instruments to prevent transmission of fubngal and bacterial infections.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on December 07, 2013.


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