Living with diabetes in Florida doesn’t have to keep you off the golf course. Dr. Ryan Pereira says proper foot care can help diabetics stay active, enjoying the activities they love. The key, however, is diligence. Daily self-care and regular doctor check-ins can keep patients ahead of dangerous complications of diabetes.
Here are some tips to keep you on the links year-round:
- Inspect feet for sores and circulation issues daily
Cuts, blisters, sore spots, or redness require immediate attention. Use a mirror or the camera function on your smart phone to inspect the bottoms of your feet. Any trouble spots should be treated immediately, and if you suspect footwear could be causing the issue, stop wearing those shoes immediately. With diabetes, even the smallest foot injury can become a major issue if it becomes infected or goes untreated for an extended period of time.
- Don’t ignore numbness, tingling, or burning
Circulation problems and nerve injuries can cause numbness, tingling, burning, and even excruciating pain in the lower legs and feet for diabetes patients. Not only can these keep you off the golf course for the day, they could lead to more serious problems if not diagnosed and treated right away. Talk to your physician if you experience any of these sensations. The answer could be as simple as socks to promote circulation—but ignoring these symptoms could lead to more serious conditions.
- Wear comfortable shoes outside, slippers indoors
The simplest way to prevent small injuries like cuts and scrapes is to simply wear shoes. This is especially important for diabetes patients who may experience reduced sensitivity in the feet. Stepping on a pebble in the driveway or kicking the corner of the coffee table in the living room can lead to an injury that initially goes unnoticed, and that can lead to an infected wound and problems much worse than missing a round of golf.
- Choose the right golf shoes
Every golfer loves a comfortable pair of spikes, but for diabetics, choosing the right shoes is of the utmost importance. Shoes should feel comfortable, but there are also other considerations which may not be as obvious when trying on shoes in the store. Read Dr. Pereira’s tips for choosing golf shoes, like making sure your shoes do not feature a spike directly beneath the ball of the foot.
- Follow your doctor’s dietary advice
Arguably the most important aspect of self-care for anyone with diabetes is a proper diet. Keeping blood sugar levels in check is key to living your best life every day. The good news is that a healthy diet for those with diabetes includes many delicious, fresh foods—so enjoy the kinds of meals your doctor recommends like fresh Florida seafood, vegetables, whole grains, and “superfoods” like chia seeds and lentils. Sticking to a healthy diet will keep you fueled for your next round of 18.
Living in Florida is all about enjoying our beautiful year-round sunshine. And that’s especially true here in the St. Augustine area. Whether you’re playing golf in Ponte Vedra, Jacksonville Beach, or taking the kids to miniature golf on Anastasia Island, following these tips will keep your feet fairway ready.
As always, Dr. Pereira and his experienced team of physicians, physical therapists, and surgeons are always here to answer your questions. Stop by or give us a call to sort out the best treatment plan if you’re currently living with diabetes or need diabetes wound care.