People who have just been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes might not know that diabetes could affect every body part, even a their feet.
Some are asking the question, “How can diabetes affect my feet?” Diabetes can affect a person’s feet by causing nerve damage and poor blood flow if a person’s blood sugar gets too high. This can lead to serious foot problems.
Nerve damage can cause loss of feeling in the feet. You may not feel pain, heat, or cold in your legs and feet. You may not feel a pebble inside your sock that is causing a sore that could become infected. You may not feel a blister caused by poorly fitting shoes. Damaged nerves may stop sending signals, or they may send signals too slowly or at the wrong times. Nerve damage can also cause pain and lead to foot deformities, or changes in the muscles, bones, and shape of your feet.
There are some common foot problems that diabetics should watch out for.
These things include corns, calluses, blisters, ingrown toenails, bunions, plantar warts, hammertoes, dry and cracked skin, athlete’s foot, fungal infection, or Charcot’s foot, a problem in which the joints and soft tissue in your foot are destroyed.
In order to take care of your feet, diabetics should see The Podiatrist at least once a year for a foot exam, or more often if they have foot problems. They should also keep their blood glucose numbers as close to their target as possible. Feet should be checked every day for cuts, sores, blisters, redness, calluses, infected toenails, or other problems. A person could have serious foot problems, even though they feel no pain.
Make a booking with The Podiatrist if you have any concerns.
Foot pain is one of the most common symptoms associated with diabetic neuropathy. People who suffer from foot and leg pain as a result of neuropathy often compensate for the pain by adjusting their daily activities. Daily living must be modified in order to avoid pain and further damage to the nerves.
The diabetic population suffers from neuropathy and associated foot pain more than any other population. The pain can be reduced through self-care, which should be good and consistent. There are a lot of effective things that can be done at home to prevent further nerve damage and relieve the pain caused by diabetic neuropathy.
Causes of Diabetic Nerve Pain
Diabetic nerve pain, also known as diabetic neuropathy, is caused by nerve damage. Most of the time the damage occurs because of the toxic effects of high blood sugar and poor circulation in the hands, feet, legs and arms. Over time and long-term exposure to high blood sugar levels, the nerves lose their integrity and ability to transmit sensation to pain or heat.
The most effective home treatment for neuropathy and the relief from symptoms associated with this condition is to control the blood sugar levels. When there is balance in the blood, further nerve damage can be prevented. Most of the time when the blood sugar levels are controlled, over time, the nerve damage decreases. This is the most effective and important thing to do when you suffer from diabetic nerve pain.
It is nerve pain that typically forces a person to see a doctor. However, it is the other symptoms such as numbness that land people in the hospital. Poorly healed ulcers and repetitive infections can cause major problems if left untreated or not recognized in time. These symptoms can lead a person in the hospital for prolonged periods of time. If the feet and legs are not cared for properly and infection spreads, amputation may be the end result.
Proper Foot Care
Due to the number of problems that can occur because of numbness and desensitization to pain in the feet, preventative home care is often needed. Treatment such as cleaning and inspecting your feet daily is critical. Remember, it is that tiny cut or abrasion that goes unnoticed that could get you into trouble.
Wearing comfortably and roomy shoes, such as Dr Comfort shoes can also help. This means that you should avoid tight fitting shoes that rub against any part of your foot. The rubbing sensation could cause sores or even deformation, and when they are desensitized you may not even be aware of the pain.
Please see The Podiatrist if you are experiencing any problems.
Complications due to diabetes are the No. 1 cause of lower-leg amputations and account for nearly 86,000 amputations per year. Doctors estimate almost 50 percent of these amputations could have been prevented if the person had taken better care of their feet.
One cannot emphasize enough how important it is for a person with diabetes to pay rigorous attention to their feet. Foot infections are the most common issue for a person with diabetes and are more severe and take longer to heal than in a person without diabetes.
Proper foot care is simple and includes things like using an antifungal daily, not only to heal, but also to prevent fungal infections, and using a moisturizer daily to heal and prevent dry, cracked skin.
Are you being thorough enough in your foot care? Read on to find out:
* Whether indoors on plush rugs or outdoors on white sand, never walk barefoot. The Podiatrist recommends wide, closed-toed shoes with socks that fit very well. Shoes should not require “breaking in.” Why not come and see the Dr Comfort range of shoes designed for those with Diabetes.
* Clean feet daily with warm water and mild soap, but don’t soak them for more than three or four minutes. Skin submerged for too long will become macerated and more vulnerable to bacteria.
* Cracks in dry skin provide ideal openings for bacteria. Look for moisturizing creams which have natural ingredients such as the Gehwol foot care range available from The Podiatrist.
* Under no circumstances should you shave or attempt to remove calluses or corns. Instead, show them to The Podiatrist and ask about specially prescribed shoes. Even before your appointment, buy a cream made especially for people with diabetes that specifies it helps soften calluses, and apply it every day.
* Meticulously inspect feet, toes and toenails for swelling, cuts, blisters, redness, fungal build up or any type of irritation on a daily basis. If you have thickened toenails, have The Podiatrist see to your problematic nails.
As the cold weather approaches, I thought it a good idea to give you some tips on keeping your feet healthy.
It is important to keep your feet clean and as dry as you can. However, the sole of the foot contains thousands of sweat glands so feet which have been kept hidden away in winter shoes and boots during cold and rainy days are prone to problems because warm, dark moist places encourage such as
athlete’s foot, fungal nail infections and verrucas. On top of this, bacteria that cause smelly feet flourish on warm, moist skin.Make sure your shoes and
socks are made from natural fibres and try and let your feet ‘breathe’ as much as possible.
The simplest way to deal with sweaty feet is to use a foot powder or antiperspirant. However, this may be insufficient in some people who have truly
sweaty feet and have a condition called hyperhidrosis.
Scaly, itchy feet can be due to athlete’s foot and it is actually quite common for this to be resistant to treatment with the standard
over-the-counter preparations. If this is the case you should see you GP as oral medications may be required. Make sure that you treat your socks and shoes with powder as well as these can harbour the fungus and cause re-infection.
Staying on your feet and keeping them warm go a long way toward enjoying outdoor winter activities. Over-layering your feet will cause them to sweat, which can lead to cold toes. For cardiovascular-based sports, a single pair of warm, wicking socks will normally do. In very cold conditions or for gravity-based sports, use a double layer of socks.
Avoiding frost bite and hypothermia is the most important consideration when preparing for cold weather activities. Make sure all of your skin is covered and carry an extra layer in case the conditions change during your workout.
Keep in mind also, that your legs and trunk tend to stay warmer than your hands and head. A pair of gloves, mittens, or socks over your hands can make a big difference in your comfort level, as can a headband, stocking hat or hooded sweatshirt. Usually, a single pair of athletic socks is sufficient, as your feet benefit from frictional heat during walking and running. The choice between tights and sweatpants is largely a matter of personal preference. As temperatures decrease, I recommend the following progression of upper body attire.
The Dr Comfort range of socks are designed and manufactured with your foot health in mind. They’re perfect for people living with diabetes, arthritis, edema, neuropathy and circulation issues. They’re available in a range of men’s and women’s sizes. And the dye in our colored socks doesn’t bleed out of the fabric, reducing your risk of foot infection.
Why Nano Bamboo Charcoal Fibers?
Nano Bamboo Charcoal Fibers release Far Infrared Rays that may promote blood circulation and anion production, which has health benefits. Nano Bamboo Charcoal is also a natural deodorizer. It’s a sustainable, chemical-free way to take care of your feet.
Why not come in and try on a pair for yourself?
Keep warm and stay healthy.