1) Management of risk factors
a. Blood sugar level- High blood sugar, the hallmark of diabetes, injures nerves and blood vessels throughout the body.
b. High blood pressure- high blood pressure damages blood vessels, leading to atherosclerosis
c. High cholesterol level- accumulation of cholesterol-rich fatty deposits in arteries can result in atherosclerosis.
2) Lifestyle modification
a. Smoking cessation- Smoking interferes with blood circulation, and so compounds the effects of nerve and blood vessel damage.
b. Exercise- naturally improves circulation while working to lower cholesterol and improve heart function.
c. Healthy diet- Steering clear of excessive amounts of salt and saturated fats can help you manage your body weight, blood pressure and cholesterol.
d. Weight loss- losing weight improves the body’s ability to control blood sugar and it also takes some pressure off the feet.
3) Foot Care
a. Check your feet and toes every day for cuts, sores, corns or blisters
b. Never go barefoot. Choose shoes that are comfortable and fit well. Ill-fitting shoes can cause corns and calluses, ulcers and nail problems.
c. Wash feet daily. Apply moisturising skin lotion to feet to prevent dryness and cracks.
d. Cut or file your toenails regularly.
e. Yearly foot screening by podiatrist, doctor or trained nurse- Early identification of those at risk of diabetic foot ulcers will prevent development of foot complications and thus reduce the number of amputations. Education on proper foot care and good glycaemic (blood sugar level) control