When was the last time you checked your feet?

It's a major risk of diabetes... yet it often gets overlooked... and sometimes, it's flat-out ignored.

When you're dealing with this disease, you're often too busy with other stuff to pay attention to your feet.

A little old foot sore might not seem like that big of a deal compared to keeping your blood sugar levels under control.

If you have nerve damage, you might not even feel it... and may never know it's there.

It's time to pay close attention to what's going on down there, because new research shows how there's no such thing as a "little old foot sore" when you've got diabetes.

A seemingly minor sore can open up, grow bigger, become infected, and eventually damage your entire foot.

And then, it might have to come off -- and I don't mean the sore.

I mean the foot.

The new study focused on 300 patients who suffered infections because they tried to ignore their "little old foot sore." One year later, 17 percent -- more than 1 in 6 patients -- needed an amputation.

Many of the rest were on the way there, as 45 percent still hadn't healed.

That means that over the course of a full year, less than half of all patients with infected foot ulcers can expect to get better.

As I mentioned earlier, the nerve damage of diabetes can alter sensation in your feet. The kind of open sore that would be very painful for someone else might not feel like anything at all to you.

That means it's important to be proactive. At some point each day, take off your shoes and socks and give your feet a careful once-over -- looking for signs of injuries, sores, or ulcers.

If you have some mobility problems and can't quite get a good look at your feet, ask your spouse for help. If that's not possible, careful use of a handheld mirror will usually do the trick.

Hopefully, if you take care of your feet, you can prevent an ulcer from forming. If one does appear, don't wait and see.

As the new study shows, it's important to get help FAST.

If you're keeping one eye on your feet, keep the other on your meds. Some diabetes drugs can actually CAUSE amputations, especially certain SGLT2 inhibitors. If you're on one of these meds yourself, speak to a doctor about your options, especially if you're at risk of infection.

I'll have more on diabetes -- and how to avoid it -- coming up later today.

Keep an eye on your email!