Diabetes And Your Feet

Poor circulation contributes to diabetic foot problems by reducing the amount of oxygen and nutrition supplied to the skin and other tissue, causing injuries to heal poorly. Moreover high blood sugars interfere with body’s natural defense systems, so infections are harder to heal too. People with diabetes are also to prone fungal infections of foot and skin.  These complications make it easier for one to get a foot ulcer that will not heal. Non-healing ulcer leads to amputation. Diabetes-related foot complications are the main cause of non-traumatic lower limb amputation…


diabetes-and-your-feetA person with diabetes has a special reason to treat his/her feet well. Meticulous foot care and the choice of suitable footwear can prevent serious damage likely to occur especially in people with diabetes. Anyone can get the foot problems listed below. For people with diabetes, however, these common foot problems can possibly lead to infection and serious complications, such as amputation. Every 30 seconds a leg is lost to diabetes somewhere in the world.
A person with diabetes has a special reason to treat his/her feet well. Meticulous foot care and the choice of suitable footwear can prevent serious damage likely to occur especially in people with diabetes. Anyone can get the foot problems listed below. For people with diabetes, however, these common foot problems can possibly lead to infection and serious complications, such as amputation. Every 30 seconds a leg is lost to diabetes somewhere in the world.
Diabetic neuropathy can cause insensitivity or a loss of ability to feel pain, heat, and cold. neuropathy can also cause deformities such as bunions, hammer toes, and charcot feet. Poor circulation contributes to diabetic foot problems by reducing the amount of oxygen and nutrition supplied to the skin and other tissue, causing injuries to heal poorly. Moreover high blood sugars interfere with body’s natural defense systems, so infections are harder to heal too. People with diabetes are also to prone fungal infections of foot and skin. These complications make it easier for one to get a foot ulcer that will not heal. Non-healing ulcer leads to amputation. Diabetes-related foot complications are the main cause of non-traumatic lower limb amputation.
A simple, logical approach can reduce the incidence of diabetes-related foot ulcers and amputations. The good news is that 85 per cent of these amputations could be prevented by good blood sugar control, better preventive foot care, and better care of foot ulcers.

A few things necessary for prevention of diabetic foot problems are:

  1.  Make healthy lifestyle choices, take your medicine properly and do exercises to keep your blood sugar close to normal
  2.  Look at and touch your feet every day: tops, bottoms, backs, sides and between the toes daily. Get prompt medical attention for any problems like a cut, sore, blister, or bruise
  3.  Keep your feet clean and dry especially between your toes. Wash your feet in warm, not hot, water
  4.  Cut or file toe nails with the shape of the toe, smoothing all sharp edges.
  5.  Moisturise dry skin with a good lotion. Do not put lotion between your toes, because this might cause infection
  6.  Avoid injury to your feet. Have corns, calluses or ingrown toe nail treated by a professional. Never perform bathroom surgery on corns or calluses
  7.  Don’t use antiseptic solutions, drugstore medications, heating pads or sharp instruments on your feet
  8.  Check your shoes twice a day and shake them out to make sure that there are no small objects in them that cause injury
  9.  Buy new shoes late in the day when your feet are larger. Check how your shoe fits in width, length, back, bottom of heel and sole. Avoid pointed-toe styles and high heels
  10.  Wear shoes and socks that fit well. Never go barefoot. Wear house shoes at home
  11.  Be careful to avoid burns from hot water, pavement, sand, hot water bottles and heating pads. Remember that you may not feel the burn
  12.  Swimming and bicycling are good forms of exercise that are easy on the feet
  13.  If you smoke any form of tobacco, quitting can be one of the best things you can do to prevent problems with your feet
  14.  Have your feet checked at least once a year for blood circulation and sensory loss Have surgery to fix deformities such as bunions and hammertoes.

Visit your doctor or podiatrist immediately if you discover-

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  1.  An ulcer or open sore, no matter how small it is
  2.  An infection in a cut or blister
  3. 8 Redness, swelling or increased warmth
  4.  Very cold areas or very warm areas in your feet
  5.  Ingrown toenails
  6.  Corns or calluses with skin discolorations
  7.  Pain in the legs at rest or while walking
  8.  A change in the size or shape of the foot or ankles
  9.  Unexplained high blood sugar levels.

The presence of infection and altered host response because of high blood sugars rapidly worsens the clinical picture from what appeared trivial just the other day, to one that now is suddenly limb or even life threatening. Minor injuries become major emergencies before you know it. With a diabetic foot, a wound as small as a blister from wearing a shoe that’s too tight can cause a lot of damage.
Good glycemic control is good not only for healing an ulcer the patient already has, but also for preventing future ulcers. Although treatment for diabetic foot problems has improved, prevention – including good control of blood sugar
level – remains the best way to prevent diabetic complications and mange them
in case if they occurs. So control diabetes before it controls you and save your feet.

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