As an athlete with diabetes, it's important that you not let the disease control you. However, it's equally important you understand that the diagnosis does require you to pay particular attention to your health, especially your feet. A foot wound in a diabetic patient that is not properly cared for can quickly turn into an ulcer and increase their risk for amputation. Take the correct steps to lower your risks.
1. Contact a Physician
In people without diabetes, a scratch or other wound on the foot is typically a condition that can be treated at home with a simple antibacterial solution application and a bandage. As someone with diabetes, self-care should never be a solution.
As a precautionary, you can apply an antibacterial solution to your foot, but you must immediately follow up this step with a visit to a foot care physician, such as a podiatrist. If you are an avid runner or cyclist, you might not have any indication of just how long the wound has been on your foot given how rigorous these activities are. A podiatrist must assess the state of the wound.
2. Change your Activities
Being active might play an important role in helping you manage your diabetes, but now is not the time to go harder. Once you notice the wound — it's essential that you avoid all strenuous activities that require you to remain on your feet for extended periods.
Activities, like running or walking on a treadmill or outdoors, or using an elliptical machine, should be ceased. The more pressure and strain you put on the foot, the more severe the wound will become and the longer it will take to heal. Look for alternative ways to remain active, such as seated strength training.
3. Eat Well
If you're an athlete that didn't always follow the healthiest eating practices, you must change your habits now. Not only can less activity and eating bad while you wait to recover make your blood sugar levels harder to regulate, but a poor diet will also influence the healing process.
The human body needs nutrients and minerals to heal correctly; a diet full of processed foods or sweets doesn't typically deliver these things. Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and drinking water can help you recover faster so that you can get active again.
Always make your health a priority. Contact diabetic foot wound care services to learn more.