When the temperatures soar well into the 80s and the humidity approaches 100% (or reaches it, as it did earlier this month in Monmouth County), weather forecasters are quick to remind us of two groups of people who suffer the most: the elderly and the very young. The doctors here at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Center would like to add a third group: people with diabetes.
Our patients with diabetes might not realize that hot summer weather can have a direct effect on their blood sugar levels. All those with diabetes should take care to prevent hot-weather problems such as:
Swollen feet can increase the effects of preexisting conditions like nerve damage and poor circulation. Furthermore, if you stuff swollen feet into a pair of shoes that are now too tight, you’re putting yourself at risk for skin irritation, red spots, blisters, and wounds that don’t heal.
Foot burns. Individuals with diabetes should never walk barefoot, but this is especially important advice to follow outdoors in the summertime. Loss of feeling means you may not realize just how hot that beach sand or driveway pavement is. You can easily burn your feet without knowing it.
Wounds. Similarly, walking without proper foot protection leaves your feet vulnerable to cuts and scrapes that can quickly progress to dangerous ulcers.
Dehydration. When it’s hot, you sweat. If you’re not careful to replace the water you’re losing through sweating, you can get dehydrated. Dehydration can cause your blood sugar levels to spike. Prevent dehydration by making a conscious effort to drink more water. Drink a glass when you first get up in the morning, at every meal, with every snack, and, most noteworthy, whenever you feel thirsty.
Protect your diabetic feet by wearing shoes that fit well and getting plenty of fluids. Contact board-certified podiatrists Dr. Samantha Boyd, Dr. Hal Ornstein, Dr. Dan Phan, and Dr. Joseph Saka if you suspect the hot and humid days of summer are having a negative effect on your feet. We provide expert, caring treatment for diabetic feet at our podiatry offices in Howell and Jackson, New Jersey. We can also fit you for special diabetic shoes. Call us at (732) 905-1110 or make an appointment online.