If You Have Diabetes, You’ve Got to Stay Active!

Many people who suffer from diabetes are concerned about engaging in vigorous physical activity or exercise, and that’s understandable. One of the most challenging aspects of diabetes is how it makes a person more susceptible to injury, especially in the lower legs and feet. Today, our podiatrist, Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists is sharing information to alleviate your worries.

If you’re suffering from neuropathy and/or poor circulation, it can be easy to overlook a minor injury for so long that it becomes a bigger problem.

Regular exercise is a critical part of diabetes treatment and management. Engaging in an active lifestyle has major benefits for a person living with diabetes, including, but not limited to:

  • Weight loss;
  • Improved sugar regulation;
  • Better blood pressure and cholesterol regulation;
  • Improved blood flow to the feet;
  • Cells that are more efficient at absorbing nutrients.

Getting (or staying) in shape and living an active life is one of the best ways to keep your condition from worsening, and therefore preventing complications.

As a diabetic, you should be active but do so safely and responsibly

One element of this approach is the activities you select. Depending on the seriousness of any circulatory or neuropathy problems, running or high-impact sports might not be the best choice for you.

However, there are much lower-impact strength, aerobic, and range-of-motion exercises you can perform, including bicycling (outdoor or stationary), brisk walking, weight training, and swimming.

Another component is protection – you should always make sure you’ve got the proper gear for your activity. That includes comfortable shoes that breathe well, fit correctly, and are a good fit for the activities or sports you’ll be engaging in.

Lastly, determine how the exercise is affecting your sugar levels and prepare accordingly. That means always testing yourself before, during (if possible) and after exercising, at regular intervals. Stay hydrated, and pack some quick-acting carbs in the event if your sugar level gets too low. A great idea is to document how your sugar level varies with different activities, so you know what to expect going forward.

You should aim for at least 30 uninterrupted minutes of moderate exercise and stay active throughout the day. Try not to remain sedentary for long stretches of time.

If you have any additional questions regarding your diabetic foot care and how your activity level may be affecting it, call the office of Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists today at (425) 455-0936 to schedule a consultation.

Protect Your Feet if You Have Diabetes

If you’re living with diabetes, you may face problems with your feet, which is a common symptom of the disease.  Diabetes sufferers are at an elevated risk for a number of foot problems such as corns, calluses, bunions, and blisters. And high blood sugar can turn these minor issues into incapacitating infections.

There are, however, several tips to help keep your feet in healthy condition; Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists is sharing six of them today.

Tips to Keeping Your Diabetic Feet Healthy

  • Examine your feet daily. Nerve loss or damage can make it difficult to identify any irritations that may be affecting your feet. Be on the lookout for changes in color, lesions, or dry, cracked feet.
  • Wear diabetes-friendly footwear. When shopping for shoes, look for styles that have more depth in the toe area, provide proper coverage of both the top and bottom and have no seams inside the shoe that can irritate your feet.
  • Keep your feet dry. Make drying your feet a part of your daily hygiene routine, particularly in the space between your toes. This area tends to get moist and can lead to infection.
  • Visit a podiatrist regularly. Small issues can become large problems if they are ignored. Schedule a visit to a podiatrist instead of looking for an over-the-counter product at the pharmacy.
  • Treat your feet with low-impact exercises. Be aware that many fitness classes and aerobic exercises may not be good for your feet, especially if you suffer from neuropathy. Research other options that don’t put a lot of pressure on your feet. And always be sure to wear proper footwear.
  • Keep your blood sugar under control. When your blood sugar is out-of-control, it can lead to neuropathy, so the better you are at regulating your blood sugar, the healthier your feet will be.

Sufferers of diabetes have enough to worry about without having to worry about the health of their feet. Hopefully, these simple tips will help alleviate some of your concerns.  Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists is an expert at providing comprehensive diabetic foot care.  Call our Bellevue, WA office today to schedule a consultation, or email us here.