Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition characterised by unstable blood sugar levels. When blood sugar levels are left to rise without regulation, it can cause a slew of unsettling symptoms. Many of the most acute stem from nerve damage, which is medically known as neuropathy.
As the health body explains, this is dangerous because you may not notice minor injuries, for example if you step on something sharp while barefoot or get a blister from badly-fitting shoes.
How to look after your feet
Your foot check is part of your annual review, which means you should have it as part of your diabetes care and it’s free on the NHS.
This is because you’re more likely to have serious foot problems and these can lead to amputations.
You may be eligible for an NHS podiatrist if you have diabetes and symptoms affecting your feet such as numbness.
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Ask your GP for a referral or find a local podiatrist.
There are a number of simple self-help tips that can stave off the risk of serious foot complications.
According to the NHS, you should wear shoes that fit well and don’t squeeze or rub.
“Ill-fitting shoes can cause corns and calluses, ulcers and nail problems,” warns the health body.
“Keeping your blood sugar within target will help prevent damage to your feet and can stop things getting worse,” explains Diabetes UK.
Eating a healthy diet and regular exercise is key to controlling blood sugar levels.
There’s nothing you cannot eat if you have type 2 diabetes, but you’ll have to limit certain foods.
According to the NHS, you should:
- Eat a wide range of foods – including fruit, vegetables and some starchy foods like pasta
- Keep sugar, fat and salt to a minimum
- Eat breakfast, lunch and dinner every day – do not skip meals.