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.
Senior foot care is a specialty that has been a part of podiatry since its beginnings. This is because senior adults have the same foot problems as youth, but with a greater sense of urgency and frequency. For example, plantar fasciitis, the inflammation of the ligament on the bottom of the foot and arch and attaching to the heel bone, can affect anyone at any age. But, because seniors tend to be less flexible and subject to considerable change in weight and activity level, they are very vulnerable to this condition. And, because they may have other medical conditions and taking medications, treatment becomes more challenging.
Diabetes is a major factor in foot care. Maturity onset diabetes is all too common, requiring special attention to co-existing foot conditions such as neuropathy (decreased sensitivity), circulatory compromise and ulcerations. Other conditions include brittle, fungal or ingrown nails and dry, cracking and peeling feet.
We know that bunions and hammer toe are associated with foot types present at birth but most manifest later in life as the tendon and ligaments become less giving and more rigid. If we consider that feet are the foundation of our bodies, gravity and longevity take their toll on the foot and lower leg. That is why we are more susceptible to fibromas of the arch ligament, neuromas, ganglion cysts of the tendons and joints and, of course, arthritis of the 31 joints and 28 bones of the foot, including the two sesamoid joints under the big toe joint.
So, what to do? First, practice good foot hygiene. Bathe, soak, dry and powder your feet daily. Wear the best shoes you can afford and make sure they fit well. Wear clean, soft socks, preferably those which have moisture wicking materials in them.
Next, see The Podiatrist yearly or more frequently if you are diabetic (every three months is recommended). Try to walk every day to the best of your ability, however, when resting, elevate your feet to reduce swelling.
Keep your nails trimmed but not too short. This may be difficult with aging, so find a family member who can do this for you or see The Podiatrist.
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.
You are only given 1 pair and they have to last a lifetime.
Whether you’re taking a sightseeing trip, walking the dog, or traipsing along in your favorite pair of heels, your feet can get a lot of wear and tear during this time of year — as well as year-round.
But unless there’s pain, most people in general don’t really pay a lot of attention to their foot health.
Here are 13 mistakes to watch out for:
• Wrong footwear: The biggest problem that I see when patients come to see me with foot problems is they’re wearing the wrong shoe, such as jandals, or the wrong size of shoe.
The right shoe varies from person to person and depends on such factors as whether the individual has flat feet or high arches, or a disease, such as diabetes, that can affect foot health.
For diabetics, The Podiatrist can prescribe special shoes which tend to be seamless and deeper than regular shoes.
Diabetics need to be careful with their feet because people with the disease often have circulation problems and a difficult time feeling pain in their feet. That makes them susceptible to ulcers and open wounds that can lead to infections and amputations. A lot of diabetics, they would like to get in their sandals and shoes and not wear their diabetic shoes, but that’s where they get into trouble.
• Failing to try on new shoes: A lot of times you will see a pretty shoe and you just grab it and you go. Make sure you try the shoe on. Make sure you walk around in the store. Make sure that you get it properly fitted and have the right cushion or insole in the shoe and that you seek medical attention when you experience foot problems, instead of letting any problems linger.
• Not taking good care of shoes: Especially if you’re a runner, don’t let your shoes get too old, and mind the weather. Leaving shoes in a hot car is enough to make the rubber materials not function properly.
• Wearing jandals: With a jandal type of shoe, people have to grasp with their toes, and their foot can come out of the shoe. The grasping process can cause pain all the way up into the leg.
• Going barefoot: This is generally a bad idea because the feet need support and padding. There’s also the danger of stepping on a sharp object or breaking a toe, People with neuropathy (nerve damage) in their feet could get injured without even knowing it. Also, despite the introduction of minimalist running shoes that are supposed to be similar to going barefoot, not a lot of people can tolerate such lack of cushioning.
• Wearing sky-high shoes: When you wear a very high heel, there’s a lot of pressure on the base of the toes which can lead to pain and calluses.
The Podiatrist recommends not wearing high heels for any extended amount of walking. Any time you go much higher than 2 ½ inches, it’s very unnatural on the ankle and the foot and throws the weight forward so much that it’s easier to fall and turn your ankle.
• Wearing shoes that are too flat: Ballet flats tend to be too low, and most people feel better in a shoe with at least a little bit of a heel and some cushioning. The sole of the shoe needs to be firm. If the sole of the shoe is too soft, your foot is going to bend a lot and there will be a lot of weight on the ball of the foot.
• Not examining the feet: The Podiatrist recommends every six months for diabetics to have their (feet) examined. When they do come in, we do a thorough circulation exam. We do a thorough neurological exam and examine their feet and examine their shoes … and if we identify any complications or any problems, then we let them know how to manage it.
Checking your own feet is a good idea, too. Briefly each day, examine the bottom of your feet to make sure there’s nothing going on, especially if you’re diabetic, Ahmed said. You can use a makeup mirror or a long-handled mirror.
• Failing to address medical conditions: With diabetics, if you don’t have your sugars under control, you are not going to heal an ulcer no matter what you do to it.
Heart disease and weight problems also can affect foot health.
• Being obese: Obesity can contribute to foot deformities, with extra pressure on the ankle joints, there’s more pressure on the smaller joints of the foot, which are fragile. People will get more flat feet. People will tend to get more bunion pain, more hammer toes. They also can develop plantar fasciitis, inflammation of the ligament on the bottom of the feet, he said. If people lose at least 5 to 10 percent of their body weight, their symptoms usually resolve on their own.
Obesity also is affecting the size of people’s feet. A lot of shoe companies do not make wide varieties, and with the increasing rate of obesity in our country, people are getting wider feet.
• Standing too much: Plantar fasciitis is really worsened by standing a lot in one place. If you have to do that, you should try to shift your weight from side to side and consider purchasing over-the-counter arch support, a plastic piece that goes under the arch.
• Being a weekend warrior: Many people who are sedentary during the week will get involved in physical activity, such as golfing and running, on weekends and wind up with ankle sprains and pain. They’ll try to do all of these things that they’re not used to doing, so their ankle will get sprained. Stretching before and after exercise and having a regular regimen of working out so that you’re not just going from zero to 60.
• Allowing moisture to hang around: Beware of fungal infections. Fungus loves moisture and fungus is everywhere; the spores are in the air. If your feet are kept moist enough, fungus will start growing, so change your socks more often, keep them dry and don’t put wet shoes on. Try to rotate shoes so you don’t wear the same shoes two days in a row.
For more any problems, visit The Podiatrist
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.