At Weil Foot & Ankle Institute, we know about the havoc that diabetes can wreak on your feet (and the rest of your body too). Fortunately, much is now known about diabetes and how to properly manage it so that diabetic patients can live active, healthy and normal lives. If you are one of the 23.1 million Americans who have been diagnosed with diabetes, there are many simple, positive ways you can reduce your risk of dangerous complications.
Partner with Your Podiatrist
The American Podiatric Medical Association states that including your podiatrist on your diabetes management team can reduce the risk of lower extremity amputation up to 85% and the risk of hospitalization by 24%. Our podiatrists will monitor the health of your feet and help you identify symptoms that may be the start of a potential problem in their earliest stages when they are most treatable. It’s recommended that patients with diabetes schedule regular checkups with the podiatrist every six months.
Improve Your Diet
What you eat plays a huge role in keeping your diabetes under control. If you are overweight, it’s important to take steps to get your weight into an appropriate range. For all patients with diabetes, eating a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables and lean protein and lower in sugar and processed foods is essential. You don’t have to change everything at once. Small steps can have a big payoff. Some ideas include:
- Use a smaller plate to automatically reduce portion size
- Swap water or flavored, zero-calorie seltzer for sugary drinks and juices
- Experiment with new ways of preparing vegetables such as roasting or grilling
Step Up Your Activity
Another key component of diabetes management is physical activity. Regular exercise can help your cells use insulin more effectively and make you feel better too. Always consult your doctor before beginning a new exercise program. Other tips to keep you going:
- Find an exercise buddy to make it more fun and keep you accountable
- Switch up your activities
- Do things you enjoy like dancing, hiking, biking or simply walking
- Find ways to incorporate more activity in your day like parking farther away from stores or taking a brisk walk at lunch
You’ll be surprised at how quickly simple changes start to improve your health and your control over diabetes. If you have questions about diabetes and your feet, make an appointment at our offices in Bannockburn, Orland Park, Roselle or any of our other 16 conveniently located offices by calling: 847-390-7666.