Pop Quiz: Diabetes and Your Feet

Nearly ten percent of the U.S. population suffers from diabetes, and it’s the seventh leading cause of death. However, loss of life is not the only worry with diabetes. Loss of limbs, especially feet, is a real danger when diabetic neuropathy sets in. Test your knowledge of diabetes and foot care, and learn how to deal with diabetic neuropathy and protect your feet.

  1. Which of the following is diabetic neuropathy?

  2. A. When blood sugar levels are dangerously high
    B. When blood sugar levels are dangerously low
    C. Nerve damage caused by diabetes
    D. When neurons in the brain stop working correctly due to diabetes

  3. Which of the following is NOT a symptom of diabetic neuropathy?

  4. A. Numbness or tingling in the extremities, like your feet
    B. Intense itching in the extremities
    C. Pain in the extremities
    D. A loss of the ability to feel pain, heat, or cold in the extremities

  5. True or False? The loss of sensation, poor circulation, and slow healing in a diabetic’s feet can mean that sores and injuries can go unnoticed, allowing the issue to worsen and infection to set in, which can lead to amputation.

  6. Which of the following increase the risk factors for a diabetic developing diabetic neuropathy?

  7. A. Having uncontrollable blood sugar levels
    B. Having diabetes for a long time
    C. Being over the age of 40
    D. Having additional medical issues like high blood pressure and high cholesterol
    E. All of the Above

  8. Fill-in-the-Blank. Checking your ____________ every day is necessary to catch a sore or wound so it can get treated as soon as possible.

  9. A. Feet
    B. Blood sugar levels
    C. A1c levels
    D. Temperature

  10. True or False? Early treatment of a foot ulcer (sore or wound) greatly reduces your risk of amputation.

  11. In addition to checking your feet every day and keeping blood sugar levels in check, which of the following are other ways for diabetics to lessen their risk of preventing or lessening diabetic neuropathy?

  12. A. Don’t smoke, as smoking decreases circulation
    B. Eat healthy; think fruits and vegetables rather than sugar and salt
    C. Get daily exercise, such as 10 to 20 minutes a day
    D. Take all your medications as prescribed by your doctor
    E. All of the Above

  13. Which of the following is something diabetics should NOT do to keep their feet healthy?

  14. A. Wash their feet daily
    B. Never go barefoot and wear shoes that fit well
    C. Keep toenails trimmed straight across and let doctors remove things like corns and calluses
    D. Moisturize feet daily, including between the toes
    E. Exercise using foot-friendly activities, like biking and swimming

  15. True or False? Diabetics should have their feet examined at least once a year by a podiatrist.

Resources: The Centers for Disease Control


  1. C. Nerve damage caused by diabetes. Over time, the high blood sugar levels and poor circulation that accompany diabetes damages nerve endings, called diabetic neuropathy, usually starting in the extremities.
  2. B. Intense itching in the extremities. Itching in the extremities is not a symptom of diabetic neuropathy, but numbness, tingling, and loss of the ability to feel pain and temperature extremes are.
  3. True. Diabetic neuropathy can lead to foot wounds or sores that go unnoticed until infection sets in.
  4. E. All of the Above. Risk factors for diabetic neuropathy include uncontrolled blood sugar levels, having diabetes for a long time, being over 40, and having high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
  5. A. Feet. Diabetics should check their feet daily for sores and wounds and see their doctor about any that aren’t healing normally.
  6. True. The sooner a foot wound or sore is detected, the sooner you can get it treated. This lessens the chance that infection will spread and require amputation.
  7. E. All of the Above. Diabetics can lessen their risk of diabetic neuropathy by not smoking, eating right, getting regular exercise, and taking all medications as prescribed by their doctors, in addition to checking their feet daily and keeping their blood sugar levels as normal as possible.
  8. D. Moisturize feet daily, including between the toes. All the others are things diabetics can do to keep their feet healthy, and while they should moisturize the tops and bottoms of their feet, they should NEVER put moisturizer between toes because it can lead to infection.
  9. True. Diabetics should have their feet examined by a foot doctor, a podiatrist, at least once a year.

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