Tuesday, October 02, 2012
Renfrew County Diabetes Education Program
Diabetes And Your Feet
Diabetes affects the circulation and immune system, which in turn impairs the body’s ability to heal itself. Over time, diabetes can damage sensory nerves, especially in the hands and feet. As a result, people with diabetes are less likely to feel a foot injury, such as a blister or cut. Unnoticed and untreated, even small foot injuries can quickly become infected, potentially leading to serious complications.
To avoid these complications, those with diabetes should see a doctor right away if they experience any swelling, warmth, redness or pain in their legs or feet.
Any corns (thick or hard skin on toes), calluses (thick skin on bottom of feet), in-grown toenails, warts or slivers, should be treated by a doctor or foot care specialist (such as a podiatrist, chiropodist or experienced foot care nurse).
And those with diabetes should have their bare feet checked by a doctor at least once a year, in addition to being screened for neuropathy and loss of circulation.
Foot care: a step toward good health, Canadian Diabetes Association
- Do wear well-fitting shoes that are supportive, have low heels and don’t rub or pinch.
- Do wear loose fitting socks at night if your feet get cold.
- Do elevate your feet when you are sitting.
- Do wiggle your toes and move your ankles around for a few minutes several times a day to improve blood flow in your feet and legs.
- Do exercise regularly to improve circulation.
- Do inspect your feet daily and in particular, feel for skin temperature differences between your feet.
- Don’t wear high heels, pointed-toe shoes, sandals or worn-out shoes.
- Don’t wear anything tight around your legs such as tight socks or knee-highs.
- Don’t ever go barefoot, even indoors.
- Don’t put hot water bottles or heating pads on your feet.
- Don’t cross your legs for long periods of time.
- Don’t smoke. Smoking decreases circulation and healing, and significantly increases the risks of amputation.
- Don’t have pedicures by non-healthcare professionals.
The Renfrew County Diabetes Education Program is a regional program which offers diabetes education services across five hospital sites in Renfrew County – Arnprior Memorial, Deep River & District, Renfrew Victoria, Pembroke Regional and St. Francis Memorial.
Services are also offered at nine outreach sites - Arnprior Villa, Quail Creek in Renfrew, Fairfield’s in Eganville, Pikwakanagan in Golden Lake, Rainbow Valley CHC in Killaloe, Whitewater Bromley CHC in Beachburg, Petawawa Centennial FHT, Riverview Heights (Pembroke) and Supple’s Landing in Pembroke.
Diabetes education services including screening, assessment, individual and group classes, follow-up consults, telemedicine services with specialists and public awareness sessions for the community, are provided by diabetes education teams consisting of registered nurses and registered dietitians.
The educators work in collaboration with family physicians, endocrinologists, pharmacists, other healthcare professionals and family members to deliver client centred self-managed care for individuals living with or at risk of developing diabetes.
Referrals to any diabetes education clinic can be self-directed or physician and provider directed.
To access services which help prevent diabetes or improve diabetes control by achieving a healthy lifestyle, or for more information call 1-855-293-7838.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
Karen Roosen, Diabetes Education Coordinator
Pembroke Regional Hospital
(613) 732-3675 ext. 6530 / firstname.lastname@example.org