It is well known that if you have diabetes, footcare is imperative. Nerve damage, infection, and blood circulation problems can result in several problems to your feet. Maintaining healthy feet necessitates regular and dilligent foot inspections. Equally, you should know when to see a doctor. Prevention is always better than cure !
When it comes to managing your diabetes, there are several things to consider, such as:
Commonly, diabetes affects your feet in two different ways. Two problems can occur due to diabetes.
Poor blood sugar control can result in nerve damage to the feet. Due to high blood sugar, nerves in the body can get progressively damaged. This is referred to as‘Diabetic Neuropathy’. Neuropathy mostly damages the nerves of your legs and feet. Once these nerves are damaged, you may not feel pain, heal, or cold there. This condition is known as sensory diabetic neuropathy because your sensation is affected. If you are suffering from neuropathy and your foot is wounded, then the wound may worsen die to the lack of protective sensation. Infection is also more likely as the bones are weaker, the muscles tighter and the protective nerves are damaged.
Diabetic Neuropathy is a very serious complication that can affect almost 50% of all diabetic patients. Preventing diabetic neuropathy is the first essential step to proper footcare in diabetics. Some people face mild symptoms of diabetic neuropathy; however, it could be very painful and disabling for some. You can prevent and slow down the progress of diabetic Neuropathy by proper blood sugar control whilst maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Diabetic patients are at a higher risk of peripheral vascular disease. ( blockage of blood vessels in the legs & feet ) Diabetes not only damages your nerves but also affects the blood circulation in your body. If the blood flow is not right in your body, it will take longer for your wounds and cuts to heal. If you have a blood flow problem in your arms and legs, this condition is known as peripheral vascular disease. If your wounds catch an infection and do not heal due to poor blood flow, you can develop ulcers and possibly even gangrene. In this case, the death of your tissues occurs due to poor blood flow.
You can prevent peripheral vascular disease and reduce its symptoms by managing your blood sugar levels and taking proper care of your feet. Needless to say, ignoring poorly healing wounds or low grade infections in your feet could lead to more detrimental consequences down the road !
So far, it is evident that if you are suffering from diabetes, you need to pay extra attention to footcare. Below are some tips that you can use to take care of your feet if you are diabetic.
Check your feet and toes daily. Inspect each and every part of your foot – toes, nails, heels, etc. You should look for any cuts, blisters, swelling, corns, or any other change in your nails or skin. If you are unable to inspect your feet from all angles, you can use a mirror or ask someone else to help.
Wash your feet daily using warm water (not very hot). Then dry your feet immediately using a clean towel and apply lotion to your feet from top to bottom. Avoid using lotion between your toes because it can sometimes cause humidity, excessive moisture and infection.
If you are diabetic, then you should never walk barefooted, even inside your home. Always wear socks, shoes or, slippers to prevent any injury. Make sure that your shoes are soft and comfortable and avoid stepping on pebbles and other objects that can damage your feet in any way.
If you’re a diabetic, then you have to pay extra attention to your shoes. You need a pair of shoes that are extremely comfortable and perfectly fit according to your size. If you purchase a new pair of shoes, then adjust them comfortably by wearing them only for an hour or two in the beginning. Once they are entirely comfortable on your feet, you can start wearing them for long intervals but don’t forget to wear socks with them.
If you’re a diabetic, your blood flow may be compromised, especially in your forearms, legs, and feet. You can improve the blood flow in your feet by lifting them up when you are sitting and wiggling your toe for a few minutes many times a day.
You can also ask your doctor what else you can do to keep your feet healthy.
If you experience any of the symptoms given below, then contact your doctor immediately and get your feet checked up.
Although most people can manage their foot complications at home using proper foot care, if you have any of the symptoms mentioned above, it is better to consult with your doctor immediately. If you need more information about diabetic foot conditions or evolving diabetic foot complications, please contact Dr. Gowreeson Thevendran or visit: www.orthofootmd.com.