Podiatrists and vascular experts recently developed new diabetic foot management guidelines, according to a Medscape report. Recommendations focus on preventing and relieving major foot issues that can come with diabetes.
Here are some highlights of what they recommended:
1. Inspect, but don’t obsess.
Educate yourself enough to be able to detect when something might be off, but don’t obsess over the possibility of problems or try and diagnose issues yourself. Be sure to check out your feet every once in a while to keep an eye out for possible bruises, abrasions or cuts, or changes in existing foot wounds.
2. Take the pressure off.
One of the biggest problems with foot issues is that it’s difficult to avoid putting pressure on wounds or ulcers. For those with plantar diabetic ulcers on the underside of the foot, look into getting a total contact cast or irremovable fixed-ankle walking boot. If you have nonplantar wounds, there are lots of pressure-relieving footwear options available.
3. Put your feet to the test.
You can also have your risk for diabetic foot issues assessed by taking an ankle-brachial index (ABI) test, which is just a blood pressure reading taken at the ankle. If you have diabetic ulcers, it’s important to get a probe-to-bone test and X-rays. From there, your doctor may recommend an MRI.
4. A Little Unpleasantness to Prevent Something Worse.
If you have dead or dying tissue near a wound, allow a doctor to cut it away to prevent infection. This process is called debridement, and it is recommended for all infected ulcers.
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