Step Up for Foot Health

When you have diabetes, your feet need a little extra care to keep them healthy.

Diabetes Action Month 2021

Your feet are your body’s foundation, so it's vital they stay healthy to keep you moving. 

Whether you have type 1, type 2 or another type of diabetes, you have an increased risk of foot problems. That's because diabetes can damage your nerves and blood vessels over time, causing issues including loss of feeling in your feet.

In New Zealand, there are more than 1,000 lower limb amputations related to diabetes each year. More than 600 of these amputations could be prevented with regular foot care, foot checks and screening.  

To reduce your risk of foot problems, foot care at home is important:

  • - Check your feet regularly for cuts, sores, swelling, blisters, warm spots or numbness
  • - Ensure open wounds are cleaned and covered
  • - Wear well-fitting shoes and socks
  • - Look after your toenails by cutting or filing them straight across and not too short. A podiatrist should cut your nails for you if you have numbness
  • - Attend an annual foot screening with your doctor, diabetes nurse or podiatrist and have your feet checked regularly.

To find a podiatrist visit 

Living well with diabetes is important to reduce your risk of foot problems. This includes:

  • - Eating a healthy, balanced diet
  • - Staying active 
  • - Taking prescribed medication to manage blood glucose levels

You can also help avoid foot issues by not smoking and keeping your blood pressure and cholesterol in check with your doctor’s support. 

Learn more about how to care about your feet here, or download the free My Diabetes Journey app from the App or Google Play store.